Nevada: To The Next Level

Innovations are on the rise in the Silver State with clean energy and tech-focused accelerators in motion.

By Anne Cosgrove
From the January/February 2024 Issue


In March 2023, the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) introduced a comprehensive economic development plan for the state. Created in collaboration with SRI International and titled, “Realizing Nevada’s Electric, Innovative, and Connected Future,” the five-year plan identifies five target industries: Information Technology; Transportation & Logistics; Natural Resources & Technologies; Hospitality, Tourism, Sports & Creative Industries; and Advanced Manufacturing.

Reno, Nevada skyline (Photo: Adobe Stock/John)


Energy & Innovation

In October 2023, the University of Nevada, Reno was designated as one of 31 competitive EDA Tech Hubs. After being selected for the NSF Engines Development Award for advancing the circular economy for lithium batteries in May 2023, this EDA Tech Hub Designation serves to cement Nevada’s momentum in these critical technology areas. The EDA Tech Hub and NSF Engine reinforce each other and represent significant opportunities over the next decade for Nevada to build regional innovation ecosystems.

“Our state’s journey towards an Electric Nevada is gathering momentum with this EDA Build to Scale Venture Challenge Award,” said Karsten Heise, GOED Senior Director of Strategic Programs and Innovation. “This will further strengthen and give additional momentum to our EDA TechHub and NSF Engine projects. I would also like to thank the EDA for recognizing Nevada’s potential and contribution in this technology field that is crucial to our nation’s competitiveness and national security.”

GOED’s administered Knowledge Fund is providing matching funds for this project. Furthermore, this effort builds on existing GOED-originated accelerators such as gener8tor adding specific “lithium closed loop” and renewable energy technology-focused accelerators in both northern and southern Nevada.

The EDA also extended a Build to Scale Capital Challenge award to UNLV to support the Scarlet Venture Fund. The fund will provide investments ranging from $25,000 to $1 million to selected startups. It will focus on diversifying the state’s economy through support of high-tech innovations and technologies commercialized from university spinouts. GOED will also be supporting this project through its state-sponsored venture capital program by acting as co-investor in eligible investments.

(Graphic: Business Facilities/Source: U.S. Census Bureau)


“With this double EDA award, Nevada’s entrepreneurial ecosystem momentum-building is being substantially reinforced, and the state’s progress in startups and spinouts is recognized,” said Zach Miles Senior Associate Vice president for Economic Development at UNLV and Executive Director of the UNLV Research Foundation. “Nevada’s anchor Research One institutions UNLV and UNR through technology-focused accelerators and newly formed risk capital vehicles will considerably strengthen the build out of Nevada’s regional innovation systems which are vital for our state’s global technological competitiveness and economic growth.”

The Nevada APEX Accelerator, a division of GOED, has received an extension of its cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Defense through March 31, 2024. “The significance of this achievement lies in the sustainment of the Nevada APEX Accelerator, which serves as a pivotal resource for both large and small enterprises, including newly established businesses, seeking government procurement technical assistance,” said Joan C. Rueben, GOED Director of the Nevada APEX Accelerator.

The Nevada APEX Accelerator was formerly known as the Nevada Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). The name change in December 2022 stems from the program being elevated from the Defense Logistics Agency to the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition & Sustainment/U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Office of Small Business Programs.

In 2022, the-then PTAC network served over 56,000 clients and helped them win over $24 billion in government contracts and subcontracts

Connecting The World

The second half of 2023 included Governor Joe Lombardo’s first trade mission to Canada. The mission allowed Nevada to showcase GOED’s economic development strategy of realizing an Electric, Innovative, and Connected Future. More than 40 Nevada delegates met with stakeholders in Quebec and Ontario. GOED Director Tom Burns signed a Declaration of Intent with Martine Biron, Minister of International Relations, and La Francophonie of Quebec to deepen the cooperation between Quebec and Nevada. Governor Lombardo and Ontario Premier Doug Ford signed an Economic Cooperation Memorandum of Understanding related to critical minerals and green energy projects.

Meeting The Moment In Henderson, NV

Jared Smith, CEcD, Economic Development and Tourism Director, City of Henderson, tells us why this forward-thinking southern Nevada city is primed for the next wave of business. Read more…

Meanwhile, The Northeastern Nevada Regional Development Authority (NNRDA) launched Silver Link, a supply chain soft landing program for domestic and international mining service and support companies, capitalizing on existing Canadian Partnerships. GOED is providing financial support and other assistance.

In December, Gov. Lombardo signed a Declaration of Understanding with Jesper Møller Sørensen, Ambassador to the United States from Denmark to explore opportunities in renewable energy. An early collaboration is targeting the establishment of a renewable energy-powered industrial park in Lincoln County that could attract $260 million in investment and create 150 jobs. Future collaboration will also explore opportunities for creating similar parks.

Check out all the latest news related to Nevada economic development, corporate relocation, corporate expansion and site selection.


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