Irish Firm Selects Rochester for U.S. Expansion

Energy storage startup NEST iON Limited will locate its new R&D facility at Kodak's Energy Storage Hub at the Finger Lakes Eastman Business Park.

NEST iON Limited has selected Rochester, NY to establish its new research and development facility. The project is the first time the Ireland-based company will expand its operations into the United States. The company, which produces high-performance lithium batteries, will locate at Kodak’s Energy Storage Hub at the Eastman Business Park (EBP) in the Finger Lakes region. The project will result in the creation of at least 17 new full-time jobs over the next three years.

Eastman Business Park
(Photo: Eastman Business Park)

“The energy storage ecosystem at Eastman Business Park has what we need for this next important phase of our expansion,” said Boris Gragera, CEO of NEST iON. “Home of world-class coating capabilities, the BEST Test & Commercialization Center, and the recently announced Kodak Pilot Cell Assembly Facility, EBP is rapidly becoming a hub for the development of critical next generation battery and energy storage technologies.  We are thankful for the support of Empire State Development in establishing a base in Rochester.”

NEST iON produces high-performance lithium batteries, specifically designed for law enforcement, intelligence agencies and military applications that help increase the performance and efficiency of intelligence equipment. Founded in 2013, the company boasts the highest energy-density batteries available on the market.

Four years ago, NEST iON began working with European law enforcement agencies, and through that collaboration, developed a new type of cell that produces a significant increase in the autonomy and efficiency of the equipment it powers. As a result, Nest iON will create a new pilot production line at Eastman Business Park, which is expected to be up and running in the coming weeks.

“NEST iON’s decision to expand in New York is proof positive that this state is a global business destination and we are proud to welcome the manufacturing company to the United States for the first time,” said Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. “With NEST iON’s new R&D facility in Rochester, we look forward to the creation of new high-tech jobs, increased activity at the Eastman Business Park, and a stronger regional economy as we continue to move the Finger Lakes Forward.”

To encourage the Irish firm to choose New York for its U.S. operations, Empire State Development offered NEST iON a grant of up to $200,000 in return for the company’s investment and the creation of 17 new jobs. The total cost of the project at the East Business Park project is approximately $1.7 million dollars.

Eastman Business Park, a Kodak business, is home to a comprehensive suite of test, validation, prototyping, and pilot manufacturing tools specifically designed to help accelerate innovation out of the lab to high volume manufacturing in the energy storage sector. The park’s facilities, capabilities and amenities are uniquely positioned to support all energy-related technologies requiring thin film coated electrodes and other components, from batteries to ultra-capacitors to fuel cells to photovoltaics and beyond.

“Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, global companies are recognizing Upstate New York as a great place to do business,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky. “From its educated workforce and affordability to its high quality of life, Upstate has everything that innovative companies, like NEST iON, need to thrive. With a growing cluster of battery and energy storage businesses, the Eastman Business Park is an ideal location for NEST iON and we are proud to support its move from Ireland.”

Growing a comprehensive battery and energy storage hub in the region remains a top priority of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council and the Finger Lakes Forward strategic economic plan.

“We welcome NEST iON as our 8th company focused on energy storage,” said Dolores Kruchten, President of Eastman Business Park and VP at Kodak. “Rochester is becoming a national hub for battery innovation and production, expanding the applications for Kodak coated films. We are pleased that our expertise and equipment in roll to roll manufacturing is being used to support new energy storage technologies that are changing the world.  Kodak’s capabilities, in conjunction with those of others, built in Eastman Business Park, have allowed the creation of energy storage ecosystem to facilitate research, development and production all in one location.”

“NY-BEST is delighted to welcome NEST iON to our growing network of battery and energy storage companies setting up operations in New York State,” said NY-BEST Executive Director William Acker. “With our unique assets for product development and manufacturing, skilled workforce and excellent markets, more and more battery and energy storage companies are realizing that New York is the ideal place to develop, commercialize and manufacture their products.”

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