SFU’s Ionomr Wins Prestigious Energy Prize in Berlin

April 17, 2018
Benjamin Britton, chief strategy officer of Ionomr, which is in the running for a prestigious energy award in Berlin.

An SFU start-up company is one of three companies—including others from Sweden and Israel—vying for an international energy award at Berlin’s Tech Festival this week. The winner will be recognized at the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue April 17.

The 18 companies are up for awards in six categories and were shortlisted from more than 400 companies internationally. Ionomr is in Low-Carbon Energy Production category together with Sweden’s Meva Energy and Israel’s Volex Power.

Ionomr designs, adapts, and manufactures advanced ion-exchange membranes to enable cost-effective clean energy generation, energy storage, power to gas, onsite chemical generation, and wastewater treatment. The company manufactures Aemion—the most durable, high performance, anion-exchange membrane in the world.

Ionomr was launched out of SFU's department of Chemistry and the Invention to Innovation commercialization program at the Beedie School of Business. The company received support and mentorship from SFU's Coast Capital Savings Venture Connection and then moved to SFU's Venture Labs.

 “We’re thrilled to be the only Canadian finalist competing for this prestigious award,” says Ben Britton, an SFU PhD student and the company’s co-founder and chief strategy officer (CSO).

“Having traction with many of the largest water electrolysis and power-to-gas equipment manufacturers, we aim to showcase our technology as being cost effective and scalable of technologies that enable an energy economy based on hydrogen, in addition to enhancing the best technologies out there for grid-scale energy storage."

In 2016, the company also delivered a winning pitch at the Hong Kong-Canada Investment pitch competition, netting nearly $30,000 in cash and services to help bring the company to market. The same year, the company won the SFU Coast Capital Savings Venture Prize. In 2017 Ionomr was named a “Ready to Rocket” company in the Cleantech Emerging Rocket category.

Ionomr was created following Britton's participation in SFU's Graduate Certificate in Science and Technology Commercialization program in 2015.

"We are so proud of all that Ionomr and its leadership team has accomplished,” says Sarah Lubik, SFU’s Director of Entrepreneurship. “This is clear recognition from the international innovation community that the company is creating and enabling incredible social and economic value."