May 11, 2023

Cortez Masto Announces UNR Selected for National Research Program and Awarded Nearly $1 Million to Support Clean Energy and Battery Manufacturing

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S.  Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) announced the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) has been accepted into the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Regional Innovations Program and will receive an initial $999,905 to conduct critical lithium-battery research, supporting Nevada’s growing clean energy economy.

Through her championing of Nevada’s battery industry and her greater support for the state’s research institutions, Cortez Masto led the push to ensure UNR is part of this program that will help the university’s innovation research hub be eligible for tens of millions more in funding in the coming years to strengthen our domestic battery supply chain. These initial funds, made available through the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act that she passed into law, will help fuel the development of vital components used for everything from electric cars and e-bikes to medical instruments and laptops.

“I’m glad to see UNR selected and provided these funds I fought for to boost our clean energy battery manufacturing sector in Nevada,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “Nevada’s innovation economy is at the forefront of battery manufacturing and recycling that is creating jobs, spurring our economic competitiveness, and I’m going to keep working to ensure we power our clean energy future.”

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

Senator Cortez Masto has been a champion for renewable and clean energy since first arriving in the Senate, when she launched her Innovation State Initiative. She led the fight for key tax credits in solar and geothermal energy to help tackle climate change and create Nevada jobs, boosted Nevada’s share of federal research funding,  wrote the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law's provisions to fund Nevada’s emerging battery industry and set up a sustainable critical mineral supply chain, and passed the Inflation Reduction Act to help clean energy companies get the federal support they need to expand and create new job opportunities for working families in Nevada.