The announcement this week by President Joe Biden and Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm of the American Battery Materials Initiative included news that American Battery Technology Company (ABTC) is one of the 20 manufacturing and processing companies receiving grant awards to support the continued development of production, processing, recycling and manufacturing of battery materials in the U.S.
ABTC is one of the latest companies to affiliate with the University of Nevada Reno’s Nevada Center for Applied Research (NCAR) and locate its research and development on campus in the Applied Research Facility which is managed by NCAR. ABTC has also hired University students as interns and into full-time roles, and several University alumni are already employed in their labs.
NCAR receives support through the Knowledge Fund which is facilitated by the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED). The news about ABTC and its connection to NCAR was described by GOED as being exactly what was envisioned when GOED conceptualized developing Applied Research Centers.
“NCAR was created through the Knowledge Fund, and this is an excellent example of how this GOED devised concept has been successfully implemented at UNR yielding staggering returns,” said Karsten Heise, GOED senior director of strategic programs and innovation. “NCAR as an applied research and development technology center is providing research and innovation on-demand services to Nevada industry through leveraging the physical and intellectual assets of UNR. The result is that the federal government today matched ABTC’s $58 million commitment so in reality this is a $116 million win for our state.”
The grant funding, which is through the U.S. Department of Energy, will also lead to the creation of 150 new skilled regional jobs and help develop the next generation of diverse scientist and engineers for this critical new industry in Nevada and the nation.
“American Battery Technology Company is demonstrating tremendous leadership in the development of technologies and a new energy economy on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno,” said University President Brian Sandoval. “Through the creation of jobs and internships, they are giving new experiences to our students and contributing to the preparedness and diversity of our future scientists and the nation.”
ABTC CEO Ryan Melsert was one of four representatives of the grant-awardee-companies selected to participate in a brief Q&A with President Biden and Secretary Granholm. Melsert joined the Zoom-based program from the ABTC labs on campus.
“We are very honored and excited to have been selected as an awardee of this program enabled by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” said Melsert. “This funding directly supports the much-needed acceleration and ramp-up of secure domestic manufacturing and refining capacity of Nevada-based battery metals, and we greatly appreciate the confidence the administration has placed in us by making this investment towards our sustainable future.”
Melsert further expressed appreciation to the Nevada congressional delegation for their “continued support throughout this process.”
Since its launch in 2015, NCAR-affiliated companies have created more than 160 jobs and have earned over $20 million in venture capital investment. NCAR has also generated more than $35 million in grants, contracts, investments, gifts and agreements to the University. Including ABTC, 27 companies are currently based on campus through partnerships with NCAR.