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February 14, 2022 | Tom Ballard

FLC recognizes ORNL, TVA and TNECD for efforts to recruit battery start-ups

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), and the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD) have been recognized by the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) for their impactful partnership that resulted in a record $2.3 billion investment to build a battery cell manufacturing plant in Spring Hill just south of Nashville. The recognition comes as the result of a record $2.3 billion investment by Ultium Cells, a joint venture of General Motors and LG Energy Solution, that is expected to employ 1,300 people.

According to this news release, the team that was cited for ORNL’s first-ever “FLC State and Local Economic Development Award” includes Jesse Smith and Jeffrey Cornett of the ORNL Industrial Partnerships and Economic Development Office; Chris Berryman, TVA Economic Development Target Market Specialist; and Victoria Hirschberg, TNECD Business Development Director.

The three organizations and their representatives have been working together for several years to bring start-ups developing battery technologies for electric vehicles and established automotive firms to the Volunteer State. The team’s pitch to potential investors outlined Tennessee’s well-established automotive footprint, ORNL’s deep research expertise and world-class facilities — such as the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility and Battery Manufacturing Facility — and smart energy-use strategies enabled by TVA.

Separately, the FLC announced winners from ORNL in the “Excellence in Technology Transfer” category. They  included:

  • CellSight technology, an R&D 100 award winner, which has been licensed by SCIEX, a global leader in life science analytical technologies;
  • An ORNL-developed method to 3D print components for nuclear reactors using silicon carbide, or SiC, which has been licensed by Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation;
  • Peregrine, ORNL’s artificial intelligence software for powder-bed 3D printers, that assesses the quality of parts produced in real time and has been licensed by several companies; and
  • A technology for solvent-free battery component production using radiation curing that has been licensed by Ateios Systems.

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