LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nevada and 31 other states will share in $500 million from the Biden administration for technology hubs to advance innovative solutions.
U.S. Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen said Monday that Nevada’s tech hub would be at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR).
In an announcement in Washington, D.C., President Joe Biden said the tech hubs will create jobs in industries that are already concentrated where grants are headed.
“We’re going to invest in critical technologies like biotechnology, critical materials, quantum computing, advanced manufacturing — so the U.S. will lead the world again in innovation across the board,” President Joe Biden said. “I truly believe this country is about to take off.”
The tech hubs are the result of a process that the Commerce Department launched in May to distribute a total of $500 million in grants to cities.
“The Tech Hub at the University of Nevada, Reno and its innovative public-private partnerships will be an essential part of strengthening our economy and developing the next generation of our state’s workforce,” a statement from Gov. Joe Lombardo said on Monday.
“This program further establishes Northern Nevada as a national leader in the development of lithium battery and electric vehicles technology,” he said.
“Northern Nevada is uniquely positioned to help power our nation’s clean energy future through battery and electric vehicle innovation,” Rosen said.
“I’m proud to announce the University of Nevada, Reno is part of a select group designated as a regional Tech Hub and is now one step closer to receiving millions of dollars in funding and resources to bolster local innovation that will create good-paying jobs,” Rosen said. “This announcement is a recognition that Nevada is a regional leader in lithium battery technology, and I’ll keep fighting to ensure Nevada is selected for the final funding award.”
Cortez Masto, D-Nev., said, “We are leading the country’s clean energy economy and I’m proud to have fought for the University of Nevada, Reno and all of Northern Nevada to be officially designated as a hub for innovation and job creation.”
Since the 2016 opening of Tesla’s Gigafactory in Storey County, just east of Reno, Nevada has been charging ahead in several areas related to EVs. With lithium mining, battery manufacturing, an EV truck factory and recycling, Nevada is the only state with the complete supply chain to produce electric vehicles. Much of that supply chain is still developing.
“I’ll continue to support collaborations like ‘The Loop’ that bolster Nevada’s entire clean energy supply chain, from lithium extraction to battery manufacturing and recycling,” Cortez Masto said.
Nevada is also poised to lead the nation in solar energy generation, with four of the five largest projects in the nation in the early stages in Esmeralda County and White Pine County.
The $500 million came from a $10 billion authorization in last year’s CHIPS and Science Act to stimulate investments in new technologies such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing and biotech. It’s an attempt to expand tech investment that is largely concentrated around a few U.S. cities — Austin, Texas; Boston; New York; San Francisco; and Seattle — to the rest of the country.
The 31 tech hubs reach Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Montana, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Virginia, New Hampshire, Missouri, Kansas, Maryland, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Minnesota, Louisiana, Idaho, Wyoming, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, New York, Nevada, Missouri, Oregon, Vermont, Ohio, Maine, Washington and Puerto Rico.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.