As NAATBatt members know, NAATBatt 2022, the thirteenth annual meeting and conference of the NAATBatt International organization, will be held at the Wigwam Resort in Litchfield Park (Phoenix), Arizona on February 7-10, 2022.  Details about the program can be seen here.

The program of the meeting continues to develop.  Monday will be the golf and tennis tournaments and tournament dinner.  Tuesday will see meetings of the Battery Recycling Committee, the Manufacturing in North America Committee, the Second Life Battery Committee and the Zinc Battery Committee.  The program in chief will start on Tuesday with annual reports about the state of the science and the state of the technology of advanced batteries by Chief Science Officer and Nobel laureate Stanley Whittingham and by Chief Technology Officer and former CTO of CATL, Bob Galyen.  The day will continue with reports by leading analysts about the outlook for business development in various sectors of the advanced battery market, including EV’s, ESS, cell, pack and electrode manufacturing, micro-mobility and beyond lithium-ion technologies.

Wednesday will see a discussion about just how constrained the supply of energy materials might be for North American lithium-based battery manufacturers.  That will be followed by presentations by the finalists in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Battery Recycling Prize Phase III competition.  The program on Wednesday will conclude with presentations by the winners of this year’s Top 10 New Battery Companies competition.  The winners for 2022, just recently announced, are: AM Batteries, Battery Resourcers, Lyten, LiCAP Technologies, South 8 Technologies, C4V iM3NY, Intecells, Solid Power, Pure Lithium, and OnTo Technology.  The NAATBatt annual dinner will be held on Wednesday evening and include presentation of the 2022 NAATBatt Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Thursday will include a panel of financiers and investment bankers talking about the alternatives for early stage battery companies to raise money, though venture investment, private family offices, SPAC’s and IPO’s.  That panel will be followed by another looking at new approaches to controlling lithium battery fire propagation risk.  The day will end with a tour of an ESS project run by Salt River Project located near the Wigwam Resort followed by a Farewell Reception.

Interspersed with regular program sessions on all days will be the Member Update Presentations.  Member Update Presentations are the hallmark of NAATBatt annual meetings.  Each NAATBatt member is encouraged to give a short talk during the meeting describing exactly what it does and highlighting its most important products and technologies.  These short talks have historically generated a large number of new business opportunities for the members that give them from new customers, suppliers and partners who, prior to the talk, did not really understand what the presenting member did.  NAATBatt is all about maximizing transparency in the North American advanced battery market and encouraging our members to do business with each other.  The annual Member Update Presentations are an important and surprisingly effective way of doing just that.

Finally, a word about the elephant in the room: Covid.  The last two weeks have been worrisome as infection rates have risen sharply around the country.  We take encouragement in recent news reports from South Africa noting a sharp if inexplicable fall in the rate of infections following several weeks of sharp, omicron-fueled increases.  There is some speculation that the United States is just a couple weeks behind South Africa.  Omicron may be burning itself out.  We will know for sure by the time of NAATBatt 2022.

But one thing we know for sure is that NAATBatt has been lucky with Covid in the past.  NAATBatt 2020 was held just a few weeks before the first wave of Covid shut down all trade shows and a good part of the economy.  I am hopeful that NAATBatt 2022 will dodge the same bullet a second time.  NAATBatt is committed to going forward with an in-person meeting in Arizona next February.  We will take all precautions necessary to maximize the safety of those who attend.  Please stay tuned to this newsletter for updates on exactly what those precautions will be.  But I hope and expect that by February the worst of Covid will be behind us and that we will all have the pleasure of meeting again in person at the Wigwam in Arizona.