One of the latest companies to further their partnership with the University of Nevada Reno’s Nevada Center for Applied Research (NCAR) and locate its research and development on campus is American Battery Technology Company (ABTC). NCAR provides industry and entrepreneurs with access to the University’s advanced facilities, equipment, and expertise. In the case of ABTC, the partnership is poised to advance battery metal extraction technologies from Nevada-based primary resources and technologies for the recycling of lithium-ion batteries.
ABTC, a lithium-ion battery recycling company, is currently building a 100,000 square foot plant in Fernley, Nevada, and in the meantime has started new development laboratories in the University’s Applied Research Facility which is managed by NCAR. Their partnership is exploring different areas of collaboration, including a potential workforce development pipeline for University students and working together on the preparation and submission of grant applications. ABTC has already hired three University students as interns and into full-time roles, and University alumni are employed in their lab including Director of R&D York Smith and Lead Analytical Chemist Mark McDaniel.
“This partnership with American Battery Technology Company showcases the role of NCAR and the impact of Nevada’s Knowledge Fund support, and it allows us to offer new and exciting experiences to our students,” said University President Brian Sandoval. “Our University is where students can become whomever it is they want to be. This is yet another example of how we are helping our students achieve their dreams.”
“At a time when there is such a void of US workforce talent with skills and experience to design and commercialize technologies for the extraction and refining of battery metals, we are very fortunate to be working with a premier university such as UNR that embodies some of the top metallurgical and chemical engineering programs in the nation,” stated American Battery Technology Company CEO Ryan Melsert. “The partnership with NCAR enables a seamless relationship with the University and allows us to take full advantage of University resources including facilities, faculty, and students.”
“A company that is looking for a mutually beneficial collaboration and brings value to the University is important to us,” said Carlos Cardillo, executive director of corporate partnerships and of the Nevada Center for Applied Research. “American Battery Technology Company is a well-established, fast-growing company and they have a lot of on-campus activities currently going on and planned for the future.”
This partnership builds upon NCAR’s successful track record of fostering collaborative relationships with companies that are based on flexible, industry-friendly facility-use or fee-for-service agreements. Twenty-four companies, including ABTC, are currently based on campus through partnerships with NCAR, and this number is set to increase. Cardillo estimated two companies a month are being incorporated into NCAR, and they are now in negotiations with four additional companies.
NCAR is supported by the Knowledge Fund through the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development. Since its launch in 2015, NCAR-affiliated companies have created more than 158 jobs and have earned over $20 million in venture capital investment. NCAR has also generated $32.6 million in grants, contracts, investments, gifts and agreements to the University.
Note: The photo at the top of this article includes alumni (back row L-R) Saul Juarez-Rolon, Omar Martinez, (front row L-R) York Smith and Hector Solorio.