NSF engines award

University of Nevada, Reno wins competitive NSF Engines Development Award

by Manufacture Nevada

University of Nevada, Reno wins competitive NSF Engines Development Award

“This award signifies the University of Nevada, Reno’s expertise and leadership in a critical time for renewable energy...We are proud that our University – among many core partners – is contributing to northern Nevada’s essential role in the global lithium supply chain.” -Brian Sandoval, University of Nevada, Reno President

The University of Nevada, Reno has been awarded a Type-1 Engine, approximately $1M from the U.S. National Science Foundation's Regional Innovation Engines, or NSF Engines, program. The University is one of 44 teams to receive one of the first-ever NSF Engines Development Awards, which aims to help partners collaborate to create economic, societal and technological opportunities for their regions. The University’s region of service is the state of Nevada.

  • The NSF Engines Development Award: Advancing the circular economy for lithium batteries (NV), envisions a region in which workforce and economic development practices, private-sector innovation, and use-inspired research are coordinated and aligned to support the circular lithium economy. Through its many academic, industry and non-profit partners, the proposing team aims to pioneer a complete lithium supply chain, from resource management of critical materials, to the rejuvenation, repurposing, and recycling of lithium batteries, and to the reinvention of the future generations of batteries. This development award will enable the project leadership team to guide all regional partners and collaborators through a 24-month process of co-creation of ideas, strategies and innovations. Through these activities, the project leadership will build a diverse and inclusive innovation ecosystem that drives economic growth, workforce development, use-inspired research and development, and the translation of innovations to practice around the lithium lifecycle.

The state of Nevada is uniquely suited to support America’s lithium independence because it contains the only operating lithium mine in the U.S., the largest lithium mine in North America under construction, and large sources of lithium in clay and brine throughout. Nevada is the only state in the country that produces lithium, manufactures lithium batteries, and is starting to recycle the batteries.

“The work undertaken during the award period will be transformative for our regional economy – technological advancements, workforce development and job creation in the lithium sector,” Mridul Gautam, project director and vice president for Research & Innovation at the University, said. “We will align among our core partners – in an inclusive, equitable and meaningful way – on joint priorities and goals for a regional economy built around the circular economy of lithium.”

Manufacture Nevada is excited for how the broader impacts of the work undertaken through this NSF development award will support a pivital movement in Nevada's manufacturing ecosystem. We are proud to support the aims of the NSF development award and work with our involved partners.

Check out more about this award on the UNR's NEVADAToday website!

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