Ann Arbor-based Adaptive Materials Inc., a pioneer in designing and building working fuel cells, has been acquired by UK-based Ultra Electronics Holdings plc.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Officials at Ultra and Adaptive Materials said the company will continue to develop and manufacture its propane-powered fuel cell systems from its current Ann Arbor plant.

Ultra is a conglomerate of 24 businesses focused on defense, security, transport and energy market sectors.

Adaptive Materials says it will continue to design and deliver fuel cells for current and future customers in the military, RV and marine recreational markets. Adaptive Materials will continue its work in the U.S. defense space, where it has, in recent years, been awarded more than $45 million from the Department of Defense and other research agencies.

“Adaptive Materials has always been a privately-held company that has grown steadily through its work in the military space,” said Michelle Crumm, chief business officer, Adaptive Materials. “Acquisition at this time by Ultra Electronics made perfect sense. Together, we can continue to invest in broadening the product portfolio to meet a growing demand from a wide range of customers for Adaptive Materials’ fuel cells.”

“Adaptive Materials is an excellent acquisition for Ultra Electronics, adding to the Group’s range of specialist energy solutions,” said Rakesh Sharma, chief operating officer of Ultra. “Adaptive Materials has excellent IP, endorsed by its customers, and will benefit from Ultra’s proven abilities in high quality, volume manufacturing as it enters the production phase for its range of fuel cells. I am confident that Adaptive Materials will continue its track record of innovation under Ultra’s ownership.”

Aaron and Michelle Crumm, co-founders of Adaptive Materials, will maintain their positions with the company throughout this transition and the foreseeable future. The company will continue to grow its team here in Ann Arbor, including filling the10 positions it currently has open. 

“Ultra’s management approach of autonomous business within a corporate umbrella will provide Adaptive Materials employees with greater opportunities to achieve personal advancement while developing the business,” Sharma added.

Adaptive Materials was the first company to develop, demonstrate and deliver a portable, affordable, and fuel flexible solid oxide fuel cell system. The company offers 50 and 250-watt fuel cell systems that are powered by globally available and energy dense propane, butane and LPG. Adaptive Materials’ fuel cell system provides portable power to the United States Armed Forces as well as industries including leisure, remote monitoring, and medical devices. For more information, visit


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