STEM Startup SafeLi, LLC Receives Department of Energy Phase 2 Funding

Sep 26, 2019Press Release


Heather Metcalf

STEM Startup SafeLi, LLC Receives Department of Energy Phase 2 Funding

WASHINGTON DC, September 26, 2019 – SafeLi, LLC in partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, is pleased to accept a Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase II grant from the United States Department of Energy (DOE). Dr. Carol Hirschmugl and Dr. Marija Gajdardziska Josifovski are the founders of university-incubated start-up SafeLi, LLC, and graduates of the Association for Women in Science’s (AWIS) STEM to Market (S2M) program. 

The $1M+ is part of the Division of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s program on Electric Drive Vehicle Batteries will enable SafeLi’s continued development of the next generation of lithium ion batteries using their proprietary Graphene Monoxide material. This Phase II grant follows the successful completion of a Phase I STTR technical and commercial proof of concept award of $155K.

Dr. Carol Hirschmugl and Dr, Marija Gajdardziska-Josifovska (pictured) discovered graphene monoxide in 2013. Graphene monoxide is the first and only solid form of carbon monoxide, stable under atmospheric conditions and SafeLi has secured the exclusive worldwide license in all fields of use. Lithium ion batteries with an extended travel range between charges and an expedited charging capability are benchmark goals of the electric vehicle industry. SafeLi active anode materials, based upon GmO, are positioned well to as a drop-in solution to meet these goals and drive an EV (electric vehicle) future. The funding will support the scaled-up production of graphene monoxide to enable the development of larger prototype batteries relevant for electric vehicles.

Dr. Hirschmugl and Dr. Gajdardziska-Josifovska have collectively secured $10M+ in funding for their academic research endeavors and published hundreds of peer reviewed research articles. The co-founders raised $2M from federal and Wisconsin state funding sources for SafeLi since is inception. SafeLi was the first prize recipient at SEEDSPOT Washington, DC pitch competition, co-hosted by AWIS, and won 3rd place prize out of 60+ entrants in the Advanced Manufacturing Division in the Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Competition 2019.

About AWIS:
The Association for Women in Science (AWIS) is a global network with 80 grassroots chapters and affiliates connecting more than 100,000 professionals in STEM with members, allies and supporters worldwide. Founded in 1971, AWIS has been the leading advocate for women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to achieve business growth, social change, and innovation. We are dedicated to driving excellence in STEM by achieving equity and full participation of women in all disciplines and across all employment sectors. To learn more, visit and follow us @AWISNational on Twitter and Facebook.

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