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What value research? In this case a cool billion dollars.

Research at MIT led to the founding of A123 Systems. That company just went public to the tune of a billion bills.

Research at MIT led to the founding of A123 Systems. That company just went public to the tune of a billion bills. A123 Systems is in the rechargeable battery biz, a sweet spot these days. It was founded eight years ago with a $100,000 federal grant. My, how they've grown. Last month A123 got a quarter-billion dollar grant from the federal government to help them build lithium-ion battery production plants in the U.S. The first plant will go up in Livonia, Michigan.

A123 Systems IPO'ed last week at $13.50 per share. Today they closed at $19.80 and they've traded as high as $21.20.

A123 makes batteries for vehicles, other portable needs and electric grid systems. Among their investors is GE. A123 is working on batteries for General Motors' plug-in Volt, due to launch next year.

THE NAME? A123Systems owes its name to the Hamaker force constant which is used to calculate the attractive and repulsive forces between particles at nano dimensions, and which begins “A123...”