February 23, 2024

Nevada’s Interim Finance Committee approves $7.5 million for Nevada’s Tech Hub

Yesterday, the State Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee approved a $7.5 million match for a $75 million appropriation from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to fund Nevada’s Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs (Tech Hubs). The state government’s provision of $7.5 million, in partnership with the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN), is a continuation of the investment that the state has made in contributing to national security and in creating the businesses and new jobs that will power broader national and statewide economic development.

“I’m proud to announce $7.5 million in new state funding for the Tech Hub and the efforts being led by the University of Nevada, Reno,” Governor Joe Lombardo said. “The state’s funding will further the transformational work of the center and enable it to begin its critical innovation and research.”

In October 2023, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced that Nevada – led by the University of Nevada, Reno – was named one of the inaugural 31 Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs (Tech Hubs). Nevada was selected from a competitive pool of 489 applicants from across the United States and its territories. 

The Tech Hubs Program, created as part of the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, invests directly in regions with the assets, resources, capacity, and potential to transform into globally competitive innovation centers in approximately 10 years, while catalyzing the creation of good jobs for American workers at all skill levels, equitably and inclusively.  

Nevada’s Tech Hub is a network of 60-plus public-private partnerships with entities throughout all Nevada counties who are collaborating to lead the state into a new era as a globally competitive innovation center. The University is working in concert with core Nevada Tech Hub Consortium members including the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, Nevada Battery Coalition and the Nevada Mining Association. These efforts will be collaborative, building on existing workforce development and advanced research and innovation efforts already being led by each campus of the Nevada System of Higher Education.

“As a proud alumna of the University of Nevada, Reno, I was honored to support the next phase of this critical project with $7.5 million in funding that will help create good-paying jobs and solidify Nevada’s position as a global leader in the clean energy economy,” Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro said. “Nevada’s Tech Hub is an essential component of the efforts to accelerate economic diversification and workforce development initiatives and this transformative opportunity will benefit all Nevadans.”

“I am proud to support the state funding match for Nevada’s Tech Hub,” Senate Minority Leader Robin Titus said. “The impact of these dollars will support research, innovation, economic stability and community vitality throughout our state.”

Today’s approval by the members of Interim Finance Committee is required as part of the Tech Hub Phase 2 Grant, which will provide funding for implementation of programs designed to supercharge the technology and its commercialization. The approval now paves the way for large-scale coordination between the University and Consortium partners for workforce development and industry innovation through clean energy initiatives such as lithium batteries and EV materials, among many other areas.

“Northern Nevada is uniquely positioned to lead the region in lithium battery development and help power our nation’s clean energy future,” Nevada Senator Jacky Rosen said. “I partnered with my colleagues across the aisle to ensure the University of Nevada, Reno would be selected as a Tech Hub, which will spur economic development and create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs. I’m pleased to see the state of Nevada provide this funding, and I’ll continue working with President Sandoval to bring federal investments to this critical Tech Hub.”

“When I fought for Nevada’s designation as a Tech Hub, I knew that it would help support economic development and good-paying jobs in my home state,” Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto said. “Through my Innovation State Initiative, I’ll continue to support the University of Nevada, Reno and the entire Northern Nevada community as they lead the way in lithium battery technology.”

The impact of Nevada’s Tech Hub projects will include:

  • Providing pathways for existing well-established workforce development programs to educate, train, and transition the next generation workforce to an economy of the future.
  • Creating an estimated 50,000 new jobs across the 16-county Tech Hub region in Nevada within a five-year period.
  • Serving as an organizing force to direct targeted federal, state, regional and local infrastructure investments to create the largest impact for Nevada.
  • Supporting innovation and commercialization of research and development.
  • Supporting critical community ecosystem development improvement inclusive of Nevada Native American Tribal populations.

The University will work with the 60-plus Nevada Tech Hub Consortium members and partners to support specific initiatives including supply chain enhancement efforts, broad workforce development strategies, efforts to move research and development into the marketplace through improved commercialization and entrepreneurship efforts, as well as address the community infrastructure, capacity, and housing challenges our communities already face.

Nevada is home to world-leaders in EV battery development and recycling, as well as the nation’s only operating lithium mine, the largest lithium mine under production in North America and highly advanced research infrastructure. This co-location of raw resources, key talent and advanced R&D positions the state to be highly innovative.

“I wish to thank the members of Interim Finance Committee for their approval, Gov. Joe Lombardo for his continued support of this initiative, as well the more than 60 Nevada Tech Hub Consortium members for their belief in this broad effort,” President of the University of Nevada, Reno Brian Sandoval said. “We are seeking a generational shift in the economic future of Nevada and today’s news brings us one step closer to realizing it; today’s news will allow us to support a broad range of business creation, attraction, retention, and expansion strategies and workforce development activities designed to further build Nevada’s lithium batteries and other electric vehicle materials.”

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