NOVONIX: Halifax’s Ground-Breaking Battery Tech Start-up

Posted: June 23, 2023

Chris Burns came to Halifax to obtain his PhD in physics at Jeff Dahn’s ground-breaking battery lab at Dalhousie University and never left. For the Massachusetts entrepreneur, by leveraging the relationships he had established within Halifax’s university network – the people, resources, projects, equipment and partners – he was able to establish his business and grow it into the leading company it is today.


In 2013, Burns commercialized his academic research though Dalhousie into the successful start-up, NOVONIX, where he would develop a battery testing technology that got results about battery lifetime faster than traditional methods (mere weeks versus months to a year), working with companies like Apple and Tesla. With the rise of the EV movement and a shift toward a more sustainable grid, NOVONIX has established itself as a global leader in advanced battery materials and technology. The company’s R&D headquarters was founded in Halifax, employing upwards of 80 people.

“All of the work that we do with Dalhousie and other university groups and colleges has been a huge benefit for us, says Chris Burns, Founder and CEO, NOVONIX. “I think that, especially within more emerging clean tech sectors like the battery space, as we develop talent pipelines here through those university programs, there’s a desire for people to be here and stay here. We’ve done extremely well at being able to retain talent in the industry by giving them the option.”

Why Halifax?

A thriving green economy is not the only thing that is attracting clean and climate tech talent to Halifax. As the economic hub of Atlantic Canada, Halifax has all of the amenities that an entrepreneur could need: an international airport and port, and a booming innovation and business district, without an hour commute that is the norm in cities like Toronto or New York. “The ability to be in downtown Halifax and twenty minutes later not even see a building is unique,” adds Burns.

NOVONIX’s President, Darcy MacDougald says that when it comes to growth in the sector, Halifax is starting to see quite a battery ecosystem developing. “We are seeing a lot of other companies in similar fields doing some amazing work,” he adds. But the battery industry is not the only thing that’s growing. “Over the past two years, we’ve doubled our revenue and more than doubled our employees,” says MacDougald. “We’ve opened our R&D facility in Burnside – a one-of-its-kind, first in the world cathode processing facility aimed at producing a more sustainable and environmentally way of development cathode powder for the supply chain. We’ve also put an addition on our Bedford location, more than tripling our footprint.”

According to MacDougald, the company’s growth would not be possible through the pandemic with global supply chain shortages without innovative suppliers, vendors and partners locally. “The fact that we’ve been able to do this really speaks volumes to the growth happening in the battery sector in Halifax and the quality of trades we have available in the region.”

Living in Halifax | NOVONIX



This website uses cookies
This website uses cookies to improve user experience and analyse website traffic. By using our website without adjusting your cookie settings you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.