BCG Digital Ventures Collaborates With Unifrax and Clearlake to Advance Silicon Anode Technology for Lithium Ion Batteries

LOS ANGELES & BUFFALO, N.Y.–()–BCG Digital Ventures (BCGDV), the leading corporate innovation and business building arm of Boston Consulting Group (BCG), and Unifrax, a leading provider of high-performance specialty materials backed by Clearlake Capital Group, L.P., today announced that the two companies are collaborating on SiFAB™, Unifrax’s patented silicon fiber anode battery technology for improving energy density, accelerating charges, and lengthening battery life.

SiFAB, which can be added to existing battery production processes, addresses a critical barrier to mass adoption of electric vehicles and the broader transition to clean renewable energy. The technology also has wide-ranging implications for the future of electric vehicles, power tools, portable electronics, and grid storage — all of which can benefit from the superior performance, longer battery life, and reduced size and weight that SiFAB delivers.

After several years of R&D, Unifrax sought collaboration with BCGDV to validate SiFAB’s market opportunity and performance characteristics, establish competitive benchmarks, and confirm the company’s scale-up plans. The team is now focusing on commercialization, as Unifrax works toward production of SiFAB in early 2022. In a move to advance the building of thousands of tons of long-term manufacturing capacity, Unifrax recently announced plans to establish its first large-scale SiFAB manufacturing line, at its north-central Indiana facility.

“SiFAB is a major breakthrough for the battery industry and will accelerate transition to renewable energy,” said John Dandolph, CEO of Unifrax. “Our collaboration with BCG Digital Ventures combines our success in manufacturing and fiber-based technology with the firm’s expertise in accelerating innovative and sustainable ventures. Working together, we can create a significant impact for customers, stakeholders, and advanced industries worldwide.”

BCGDV goes beyond the scope of traditional consulting by teaming with its clients to imagine, build, and launch market-disrupting businesses. The company has launched and scaled more than 160 businesses to date with its corporate partners, nearly 20 percent of which are businesses that address environmental, social, and governance (ESG) concerns.

“Today’s climate and environmental challenges are an existential threat that can be addressed only through decisive action by the world’s most ambitious corporations, entrepreneurs, institutions, and investors,” said Raju Sarma, managing director and partner and Social Impact global practice area lead for BCG Digital Ventures. “BCG believes that SiFAB is uniquely positioned to lead the evolution of lithium ion battery technology, in part due to the significant energy density gains enabled by its drop-in technology, as well as to Unifrax’s large-scale manufacturing capabilities and facilities around the world. Our team is excited to continue our collaboration with Unifrax to bring this technology to market at a rapid pace and help advance the global transition to a zero-carbon economy.”

To further its commitment to its decarbonization and sustainability agenda, BCGDV recently announced the launch of BCG Green Ventures. The new offering with a dedicated team will focus on BCG’s mission to accelerate climate action through corporate innovation, enabling clients to create value through their ESG initiatives while helping the world address today’s climate and environmental challenges. BCG Green Ventures will leverage BCGDV’s previous climate innovation work, its ecosystem of partners, and BCG’s broader commitment to invest in, co-develop, and scale innovative ventures as a long-term partner. The initiative will also draw on BCG’s cross-sector climate innovation expertise.

“Established corporations have significant assets at their disposal—from market position, expertise, and ecosystems to their capital reserves — that put them in an advantageous position to reap the rewards in the move to the decarbonization economy. Harnessing our deep technology and sector-specific expertise, as well as our proven track record in corporate innovation, we look forward to continuing to support organizations in unlocking growth opportunities in climate innovation,” added Sarma, who also leads the BCG Green Ventures team.

To learn more about BCG’s and BCG Digital Ventures’ perspectives on climate innovation market opportunities, read “The Next Generation of Climate Innovation.” For more information on BCG Green Ventures, read “Introducing BCG Green Ventures.”

About BCG Digital Ventures

BCG Digital Ventures (BCGDV) is the corporate innovation and digital business building arm of Boston Consulting Group. The organization invents, launches, scales, and invests in industry-changing new businesses with the world’s most influential companies. BCGDV’s diverse, multidisciplinary team of entrepreneurs, operators, and investors work cross-functionally, rapidly moving from idea to market in less than 12 months. Founded in 2014, the organization has 11 Innovation Centers and satellite locations around the world. www.bcgdv.com

About Unifrax

Unifrax develops and manufactures high performance specialty materials used in advanced applications including high-temperature industrial insulation, electric vehicles, energy storage, filtration, and fire protection, among many others. Unifrax products are designed with the ultimate goal of saving energy, reducing pollution, and improving safety for people, buildings, and equipment by delivering on our commitment to our customers of greener, cleaner, safer solutions for their application challenges. Unifrax has 37 manufacturing facilities operating in 12 countries and employs 2,700+ employees globally. More information is available at www.unifrax.com. For updates, follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

About Clearlake

Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. is a leading investment firm founded in 2006 operating integrated businesses across private equity, credit, and other related strategies. With a sector-focused approach, the firm seeks to partner with world-class management teams by providing patient, long-term capital to dynamic businesses that can benefit from Clearlake’s operational improvement approach, O.P.S.® The firm’s core target sectors are consumer, industrials, and technology. Clearlake currently has approximately $39 billion of assets under management, and its senior investment principals have led or co-led over 300 investments. The firm has offices in Santa Monica and Dallas. More information is available at www.clearlake.com and on Twitter @ClearlakeCap.

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