What’s up with A123? Well, their former office in Ann Arbor plans to double in size

a123Late last year, when advanced battery manufacturer A123 Systems went through bankruptcy, there was a lot of handwringing going on about the future of this industry, especially in Michigan where A123 had extensive operations.

Well, that handwringing has changed to hand-clapping, in Ann Arbor, at least.

Navitas Systems, who bought A123’s government business, announced plans to double its Ann Arbor research and development center in both size and staffing within the next year.

In a story by Ben Freed, a business reporter for AnnArbor.com, Navitas general manager Les Alexander said part of the expansion might include an upgrade to manufacturing capabilities.

“We’ll be looking at hiring on both the engineering side, and the science and chemistry side,” he said. “So chemical engineers, material scientists, and all of the engineering disciplines, mechanical, electrical and others,” Alexander said.

The new ownership will allow the former A123 office to branch out into more commercial and industrial work in addition to its government contracts, according to Alexander.

“We are exploring all of our options, we want to have room for continued growth,” he said. “Our ultimate goal is to have manufacturing capability. We want to build the team and the space with the ultimate focus to go to low- to mid-volume applications and add manufacturing.”