Ascend Elements Named to Fast Company’s Annual List of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2023

Sustainable battery materials company joins the ranks of NASA, Disney, OpenAI and others

WESTBOROUGH, Mass., (March 2, 2023) — Ascend Elements, a U.S.-based battery recycling and sustainable battery materials company, has been named to Fast Company’s prestigious annual list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2023. The company is ranked No. 3 in the Energy and Sustainability category.

This year’s list highlights the businesses at the forefront of their respective industries, paving the way for the innovations of tomorrow. These companies are setting the standard with some of the greatest accomplishments of the modern world. In addition to the World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies, 540 organizations are recognized across 54 sectors and regions.

“Innovation is at the core of what we do at Ascend Elements, and it has been since we filed our first patent for a new battery recycling technology in 2012,” said Eric Gratz, Ph.D., co-founder and CTO of Ascend Elements. “It’s a huge honor for the people of Ascend Elements to be recognized in this way.”

Ascend Elements ranks No. 3 in the Energy & Sustainability category of Fast Company‘s Most Innovative Companies for 2023

Ascend Elements is commercializing the world’s most efficient and economical way of recycling used lithium-ion batteries and returning engineered battery materials to the EV battery supply chain. The company’s patented Hydro-to-Cathode™ direct precursor synthesis technology was developed at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts by Professor Yan Wang and Dr. Eric Gratz.

The innovative process transforms used lithium-ion batteries and manufacturing scrap directly into sustainable, high-performance electric vehicle battery materials – specifically cathode precursor (pCAM) and battery-ready cathode active materials (CAM). Ascend Elements recovers up to 98% of the critical battery metals while generating up to 90% lower carbon emissions compared to traditional cathode manufacturing methods.

Fast Company’s editors and writers sought out the companies making the biggest strides around the globe. They also judged nominations received through their application process. The World’s Most Innovative Companies is Fast Company’s signature franchise and one of its most highly anticipated editorial efforts of the year. It provides a firsthand look at the inspiring and innovative efforts of companies across all sectors of the economy.

“What a strange and thrilling year it has been to honor this year’s Most Innovative Companies. This year’s list compiles some of the most cutting-edge groundbreakers who are changing our world every single day, from legacy organizations like McDonald’s to upstarts like MrBeast and institutions such as NASA. Everyone on this list does something completely, uniquely different, yet, they all have one thing in common: innovation,” said Fast Company editor-in-chief Brendan Vaughan.

Fast Company will host its third annual Most Innovative Companies Summit on April 19 and 20. The virtual summit celebrates the Most Innovative Companies in business, and provides an inside look at cutting-edge business trends and what it takes to innovate in 2023. Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies issue (March/April 2023) is available online here, as well as in-app form via iTunes, and on newsstands beginning March 14. The hashtag is #FCMostInnovative.

Fast Company is the only media brand fully dedicated to the vital intersection of business, innovation, and design, engaging the most influential leaders, companies, and thinkers on the future of business. Headquartered in New York City, Fast Company is published by Mansueto Ventures LLC, along with our sister publication Inc., and can be found online at

Based in Westborough, Mass., Ascend Elements is the leading provider of sustainable, closed-loop battery material solutions. From EV battery recycling to commercial-scale production of lithium-ion battery precursor (pCAM) and cathode active materials (CAM), Ascend Elements is revolutionizing the production of sustainable lithium-ion battery materials. Its Hydro-to-Cathode™ direct precursor synthesis technology produces new CAM from spent lithium-ion cells more efficiently than traditional methods, resulting in improved economics and lowered GHG emissions. With fewer batteries going to landfill and a cleaner manufacturing process, Ascend Elements is taking the lithium-ion battery industry to a higher level of sustainability.

Thomas Frey, APR
Ascend Elements | [email protected] | +1.734.658.0143