Lithium Battery Innovator NOHMs Technologies Press Conference

From: Sep 4, 2013 | kbowman

Lithium-ion battery manufacturer NOHMs Technologies Inc. will locate a state-of-the-art research, manufacturing and product development facility at the University of Kentucky's Center for Applied Energy Research campus in Lexington. 

UK President Eli Capilouto joined Gov. Steve Beshear, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, NOHMs CEO Nathan Ball and Bob Quick, president and CEO of Commerce Lexington Inc. at a news conference at the UK Energy Research Park today to announce the project, which will bring more than $5.3 million in investment and could create up to 162 new Kentucky jobs.

“Today celebrates new opportunities reached through partnership,” Capilouto said. “Our announcement exemplifies the incredible possibilities unleashed when human capital, space and expertise combine with state and local entities to attract a new company, new technology and high-wage jobs to Central Kentucky. It also underscores the importance of federal and state research and development support to pioneer innovations that transform industry and fuel economic growth." 

NOHMs Technologies, founded in 2010, will move a substantial part of its operations to the Spindletop Administration Building and the Kentucky-Argonne Battery Manufacturing Research and Development Center, located on the CAER campus in Lexington. The company has worked closely with the Bluegrass Business Development Partnership (city of Lexington, Commerce Lexington and UK Von Allmen Center/Lexington Innovation and Commercialization Center) on this project. 

“This is an exciting day for Kentucky and for Lexington,” Gov. Beshear said. “We are not only talking about 162 high-quality jobs and an investment of more than $5.3 million in the Commonwealth, but NOHMs is an innovative company with an eye to the future, especially in a crucial field where economics, energy and the environment all overlap. With this type of technology, NOHMs and Kentucky-Argonne are helping Kentucky lead the charge in advancing the future energy and economic security of the United States.” 

NOHMs has developed a battery based on lithium-sulfur chemistry, which utilizes innovative sulfur-infused carbon composite cathode materials developed at Cornell University. The company believes its lithium-sulfur batteries can deliver enough energy at a cost that will be low enough to allow mass commercialization of electric vehicles. 

“We chose Kentucky because of the state’s reputation for manufacturing and a talented workforce, strong support from the state for the battery and automotive industry, and the facilities at Kentucky -Argonne," said NOHMs CEO Nathan Ball. "Kentucky-Argonne will be an invaluable asset that will help us to be successful. There is no other facility that I am aware of in North America has such a small-business-focused mission and flexibility for access and use. The capabilities that exist and that are being installed as the center continues to grow are unparalleled in this country outside of a big company or a national lab. We also benefit from a close relationship with the University of Kentucky’s Center for Applied Energy Research, which has a long history in developing technology across many energy sectors.” 

To encourage the investment and job creation in Lexington, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $2.1 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.  

NOHMs was also a recipient of the Bluegrass Business Development Partnership’s Rent Subsidy Program. The program is designed to recruit emerging technological companies and provide a rent subsidy up to $10,000 the first year in Lexington. The program is available to companies who have received a Small Business Innovation Research matching grant from the Commonwealth of Kentucky, which NOHMs did earlier this year.  

“Bringing NOHMs Technologies and 162 good jobs here is a vote of confidence for Lexington among research companies and green energy companies,” Lexington Mayor Jim Gray said. 

“The Bluegrass Business Development Partnership is delighted about NOHMs  Technologies’ decision to locate in Lexington,” Bob Quick, President and CEO of Commerce Lexington Inc. “Clean, renewable energy is one of Lexington’s targeted industries, and we are happy there are many resources available to NOHMs in this field.  We are excited to see NOHMs join this growing niche industry in our region.”  

NOHMs will locate some of its operations at the Kentucky-Argonne Battery Manufacturing Research and Development Center. In August of last year, Gov. Beshear cut the ribbon on the center, which is a partnership between the Commonwealth of Kentucky and Argonne National Laboratory, a leader in basic battery research. During the past year, joint research projects have been developed with several major automotive manufacturers, including Ford, Hitachi and Toyota. 

"NOHMs represents precisely the kind of company Gov. Beshear envisioned as he created the Kentucky-Argonne center,” said Tony Hancock of the Kentucky Argonne Center. “NOHMs has a game-changing technology in the battery industry, and by using the world-class facilities and equipment at Kentucky-Argonne, NOHMs will be able to produce prototype quantities for testing this new technology. We are actively recruiting other companies such as NOHMs to move to Kentucky, use this facility, and help make Kentucky the center for battery technology." 

For information about the UK Center for Applied Energy Research, go to www.caer.uky.edu. Information about Kentucky-Argonne can be found at www.kyargonne.org

Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com.

Produced by Alicia P. Gregory, videography/direction by Chad Rumford (Research Communications)

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