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June 28, 2017

WiTricity and IHI Partner to Bring Wireless Charging to Electric Vehicles

Industrial Liaison Program helps to launch successful long-term technology collaboration.

Eric Bender

David Schatz
WiTricity Vice President of Sales
and Business Development Automotive

Back in 2009, WiTricity Corporation was an MIT spinoff company with a novel wireless-charging technology and a need to find early commercial partners. At an Industrial Liaison Program (ILP) event at MIT, the startup’s dramatic desktop demonstration of wireless power caught the eye of Yoshi Iso, a technology scout for IHI Corp., a major international technology company.

The two companies began to talk, and IHI examined the WiTricity charging technology at its corporate research and development facilities in Tokyo. In 2012, IHI and WiTricity entered into a long-term collaboration and commercialization agreement.

Under the agreement, IHI is licensed by WiTricity to manufacture and supply wireless charging systems for automotive and industrial applications on a global basis. In addition, the companies collaborate to accelerate the development of the technology and to promote international standards for wireless charging systems.

“IHI is a heavy industry company and a leading supplier of aerospace engines and vehicle turbochargers, along with resource, energy and environmental products,” says Toshiro Fujimori, general manager of the New Products Incubation Center in the IHI corporate research and development organization in Tokyo. “To expand our business, we search for spinout companies that have competent technologies and fit our business plan.

WiTricity and IHI
partnered to offer wireless
charging stations around the globe.
The MIT Startup Exchange has been very helpful in this regard, and we chose WiTricity to collaborate in the growing market of electric vehicles, and we are working together to introduce our first wireless-charging products using WiTricity technologies in a few years.”

“As a newly formed startup spun out of MIT, we benefited tremendously from the chance to meet potential customers at ILP-sponsored events and by introductions made by ILP staff to their member companies,” says David Schatz, WiTricity vice president of sales and business development. “At the time, IHI was unfamiliar to WiTricity.  As a result of meeting its U.S. technology scout, we were able to engage with IHI, and we have since formed a lasting and mutually beneficial business relationship that has been exceptionally valuable to us.”
An early member of ILP’s Startup Exchange, WiTricity continues to draw on ILP’s connections and expertise to explore potential business arrangements with major automotive and industrial suppliers around the globe.

IHI is now testing electric vehicles equipped with wireless charging systems, for residential settings in a garage or carport, as well as in public facilities. IHI is very active in public infrastructure for transportation and power generation and distribution, and it will utilize its expertise in wireless charging technology to improve the efficiency, safety and environmental friendliness of future transportation systems.

Working with multiple automotive manufacturers, IHI has showcased protoype wireless-charging automotive systems at a number of public demonstrations of electric car concepts, such as a Honda Fit displayed at the automotive manufacturer’s Smart Home” in Saitama, Japan.

In addition to its partnership with IHI, WiTricity is working with numerous other automotive makers and their leading suppliers. No licensees have announced specific product details and timetables, but the first automobiles embodying the wireless charging technology are expected to appear this fall.

About WiTricity
WiTricity Corporation provides technology to enable wireless power transfer over distance using magnetic resonance. Through deep domain expertise, semiconductor offerings, a strong intellectual property portfolio and an extensive reference design library, WiTricity works with innovative companies to incorporate WiTricity technology in their products and solutions. With a growing list of global customers in the consumer electronics, automotive, medical devices and industrial markets, the company has emerged as the leader in wireless power transfer over distance. For more information, visit www.witricity.com, or follow WiTricity on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

About IHI
IHI Corporation (IHI) is a global engineering, construction and manufacturing company that provides a broad range of products in four business areas: Resources, Energy and Environment; Social Infrastructure and Offshore Facilities; Industrial System and General-Purpose Machinery; and Aero Engine, Space and Defense. IHI was established in Tokyo as Ishikawajima Shipyard in 1853, and currently employs more than 27,000 people around the world. The company's consolidated revenues for fiscal 2015 (ended March 31, 2016) totaled 1,539 billion yen. For more information, visit http://www.ihi.co.jp/en/.

About MIT Startup Exchange, STEX25, and MIT’s Industrial Liaison Program (ILP)
MIT Startup Exchange actively promotes collaboration and partnerships between MIT-connected startups and industry. Qualified startups are those founded and/or led by MIT faculty, staff, or alumni, or are based on MIT-licensed technology. Industry participants are principally members of MIT’s Industrial Liaison Program (ILP).

MIT Startup Exchange maintains a propriety database of over 1,500 MIT-connected startups with roots across MIT departments, labs and centers; it hosts a robust schedule of startup workshops and showcases, and facilitates networking and introductions between startups and corporate executives.

STEX25 is a startup accelerator within MIT Startup Exchange, featuring 25 “industry ready” startups that have proven to be exceptional with early use cases, clients, demos, or partnerships, and are poised for significant growth. STEX25 startups receive promotion, travel, and advisory support, and are prioritized for meetings with ILP’s 230 member companies.

MIT Startup Exchange and ILP are integrated programs of MIT Corporate Relations.