Global EV charging developer setting up shop in Illinois

🚗 ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Dutch electric vehicle charging station developer EVBox is establishing its first North American headquarters near Chicago in Libertyville, Illinois, reports Energy News Network.

🔬 RESEARCH: University of Michigan researchers have discovered a way to make plastic conduct electricity and become more transparent. The technology is moving forward via a project examining its potential use for window-mounted solar cells that could create electricity while still allowing light to pass through.

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🌡️ HEAT WARNING: NASA and Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis have identified a way to pinpoint specific parts of Indianapolis that will be most affected by extreme heat from climate change and how to best warn residents about their danger from excessive heat exposure.

♼ REUSE: Swiss technology company ABB aims to boost sustainability in the manufacturing industry by buying back legacy manufacturing robots from customers to refurbish them and give them a second life instead of letting them sit idle or get scrapped. The company’s Auburn Hills, Michigan, facility is one of the global centers that performs the robot remanufacturing.

🔋 BATTERIES: A new lithium-ion battery cathode coating developed by Argonne National Laboratory and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology will increase the batteries’ safety and lifespan.


  • Two Iowa startups that aim to help farmers boost sustainability are among the four businesses chosen for the Iowa AgriTech Accelerator’s new cohort, reports Successful Farming. N-Sense is developing a soil nitrate sensor and Curiosity Labs is developing technology to detect nematodes in soil.

  • Chain Reaction Innovations at Argonne National Laboratory is among the three programs to host some of the 20 early stage researchers selected by the U.S. Department of Energy to be chosen for the Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Programs. Innovators’ concepts reflect the program’s priorities of improving energy efficiency, energy storage, and energy and material productivity.

  • Nonprofit One America Works is expanding to Columbus, Ohio, and Indianapolis. The organization aims to bridge tech divides across the country by connecting growth companies with middle American cities that have tech talent and regions ripe for investment.

🌱 AGTECH: The president of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, a nonprofit research institute in St. Louis that has environmental preservation and renewal as part of its mission, said in an interview with St. Louis Public Radio that President Trump’s executive order freezing H-1B visas will hurt the city’s agtech economy.


  • Johnston, Iowa-based Growers Edge closed a $40 million round of Series B funding to accelerate development and market penetration of its fintech products that help farmers de-risk agtech adoption and increase sustainability.

  • University of Minnesota Twin Cities researchers are part of a team that received a five-year, $20 million grant for evaluating the impact of nanotechnology on the environment and living things.

What other businesses and organizations are advancing tech in the Midwest? Send news tips, press releases, and feedback to or connect on LinkedIn and Twitter @centereddottech.

Centered is a publication of the Energy News Network, in partnership with the Illinois Science and Energy Innovation Foundation and mHUB.