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A new report released by IP Australia has analysed patent filings between 2001 and 2008, identifying developers working in various fields of battery innovation and revealing consistent growth in the sector. 

The analytics report, The Power of Innovation: A patent analytics report on the Australian Battery Industry, provides information for decision-makers to strengthen and consolidate national capability.

The report found 206 patent families have been filed by Australians in battery technologies, and identified Australians who are actively working in different fields of battery development. 

The report accompanying interactive visualisation also allows users to delve deeper into the findings. 

The IP report shows that rechargeable battery technologies dominate patent filings by Australians, with over 60 per cent of patent families (130) relating to this field. 

Fields of development included both industrial and domestic, the report analysing findings from patents including trends, innovators, filing destinations, commercial players and collaborators. 

CSIRO is the top patent filer in the area, with universities strongly contributing. 

Energy storage is a vital part of the Australian economy, providing the critical link between energy production and consumption, enabling the continued transition to renewables. 

Australia has the potential for significant international impact through development and commercialisation of world-leading research the nation has made in battery technology. 

Australia was an early innovator in developing smart control systems that allow batteries to be charged and discharged in response to power system conditions and price signals, through Australian companies such as Selectronic and Evergeen. 

According to IP Australia, improved energy storage provides benefits to both the power industry and its customers, including:

  • Improved power quality and the reliable delivery of electricity to customers
  • Improved stability and reliability of transmission and distribution systems
  • Increased use of existing equipment, thereby deferring or eliminating costly upgrades
  • Improved availability and increased market value of distributed generation sources
  • Improved value of renewable energy generation
  • Cost reductions through capacity and transmission payment deferral

A highlight of the report is the amount of international collaboration shown by Australian innovators in co-filed patents in battery technologies. This reflects global interest in Australian capability and presents opportunities for targeted investment in research and development in the energy-storage sector.

This report identifies holdings of specific expertise and shows the potential for further specialisation and investment by Australia. 

These findings, coupled with strong growth in the field, demonstrates Australian capability that can be leveraged for the benefit of the broader Australian economy. 

The IP report concludes that battery technology is a sector to promote Australian capability, in the context of intense global interest, and that it is a strong area of growth and specialisation for the country.  

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