University spin-off Gelion lists on London Stock Exchange


It is the first time a University of Sydney spin-out has listed anywhere on a stock exchange. Trading started on Tuesday night in London, with the company launching its initial public offering (IPO) at a market capitalisation of $288 million (£154 million).

Gelion uses a breakthrough in battery chemistry developed by Maschmeyer that has transformed zinc-bromide batteries making them cheaper, safer and more robust than lithium batteries for stationary renewable energy storage.

Maschmeyer, from the university’s School of Chemistry said: “It’s fantastic to see our fundamental research transition from the lab, to spin-out and now to a global company listing in London in just six years.

“We are thrilled to launch this IPO on the AIM market, which specialises in start-ups and technology companies.

“The world is experiencing a period of unprecedented global demand for renewable energy storage and battery technologies. I believe the timing of our IPO could not have been better.”

Last month, Bloomberg NEF forecast that energy storage installations will reach more than a cumulative terawatt-hour by the end of the decade. This, it says, will require more than  $368 billion ($US262 billion) worth of investment.

Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Sydney, Professor Mark Scott, said: “The University couldn’t be more proud of this tremendous achievement by Thomas and his team. The success of Gelion speaks directly to the mission of our University: leadership for good and taking our research outcomes to the world.

“What’s truly exciting is that we know this is just the beginning for Gelion. That’s why the University has invested in the company from the start.”

Founded as a spin-out from the University of Sydney in 2015, Gelion has developed batteries for the renewable energy storage sector, which is fundamental to transitioning economies away from fossil fuels and unleashing the full potential of sources of renewable energy, such as wind and solar.

Gelion has two divisions. Its stationary energy storage division is dedicated to the commercialisation of the Endure branded non-flow zinc-bromide battery, chemistry pioneered at the University of Sydney.

This battery will initially be used in agriculture, mining and for remote communities, delivering reliable renewable energy for off-grid systems. Later Gelion aims to scale the battery technology up for use in solar and wind farms and for grid stabilisation.

Manufacture of the battery is scheduled to start at western Sydney manufacturer Battery Energy next year. Work is now under way to develop the pilot production line.

Gelion’s other division is for the improvement of existing lithium-ion battery technology for mobile energy storage through its proprietary performance additives for lithium-silicon and lithium-sulfur batteries. These additives will make lithium battery technology safer and deliver higher density energy for electric vehicles and the emerging electric aviation industry.

Maschmeyer was awarded the Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation in 2020 in recognition of his work establishing companies that translate scientific discovery into commercial applications.