This week’s announcement 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 20 manufacturing and processing companies receiving grants to help continue developing production to support. Processing, recycling and manufacturing of battery materials in the USA
ABTC is one of the most recent companies to join the University of Nevada Reno’s Nevada Center for Applied Research (NCAR), locating its on-campus research and development at the Applied Research Facility administered by NCAR. ABTC has also hired university students for interns and full-time positions, and several university graduates are already employed in their laboratories.
NCAR receives support from the Knowledge Fund, which is supported by the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED). The news about ABTC and its association with NCAR was described by GOED as exactly what was envisioned when GOED conceived the development of applied research centers.
“NCAR was founded by the Knowledge Fund and this is an excellent example of how this concept developed by GOED has been successfully implemented at UNR and has achieved amazing returns,” said Karsten Heise, GOED Senior Director of Strategic Programs and Innovation. “NCAR, as a technology center for applied research and development, provides on-demand research and innovation services to Nevada industry by leveraging UNR’s physical and intellectual assets. The result is that today the federal government honored ABTC’s $58 million commitment, effectively making this a $116 million gain for our state.”
The grant funding, provided by the US Department of Energy, will also create 150 new skilled regional jobs and help train the next generation of diverse scientists and engineers for this important new industry in Nevada and the nation.
“American Battery Technology Company is demonstrating tremendous leadership in the development of technology and a new energy economy on the University of Nevada, Reno campus,” said University President Brian Sandoval. “By creating jobs and internships, they bring new experiences to our students and contribute to the readiness and diversity of our future scholars and the nation.”
ABTC CEO Ryan Melsert was one of four representatives from the grantee companies chosen to participate in a short Q&A session 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 be selected as an honoree in this program, made possible by President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure bill,” said Melsert. “This funding directly supports the much-needed acceleration and expansion of safe domestic manufacturing and refining capacity of battery metals from Nevada, and we greatly appreciate the confidence the government has placed in us in making this investment in our sustainable future. “
Melsert also expressed appreciation to the Nevada congressional delegation for their “continued support throughout this process.”
Since its inception in 2015, NCAR-affiliated companies have created more than 160 jobs and earned over $20 million in venture capital investments. NCAR has also generated more than $35 million in grants, contracts, investments, gifts and agreements with the university. Including ABTC, 27 companies are currently located on campus through partnerships with NCAR.