Nevada has a long history of groundbreaking inventions, from riveted jeans and square-set timbering to hard hats, the atomic force microscope, and the Lear jet fan. Today, the trend continues. Innovative Northern Nevada-based companies remain actively involved in new ways to use technology for the betterment of the community and beyond.
The Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN) recently honored some of these exemplary companies during their tenth annual Existing Industry Awards (EIA). The EIA Awards honor entities contributing to Northern Nevada’s economic vitality through innovation and the generation of thousands of jobs for Nevadans.
This year’s list of companies proved especially exciting, with many brands pushing the envelope on technological development and application. Keep reading for a highlight of some of the innovative companies contributing to a better Northern Nevada.
1. HORIBA Instruments
Every year, EDAWN honors the best in forward-thinking strategies with its Tech Innovation Award, and HORIBA Instruments took home this year’s prize. What set HORIBA Instruments apart from the competition? Its continued focus on excellence in critical process control and the creation of superior scientific instruments.
HORIBA’s Reno Technology Center employs more than 60 scientists, technicians, and engineers to manufacture and sell patented fluid delivery devices and sub-assemblies. These technologies were created in Nevada, often by Nevadans. An impressive 50 percent of HORIBA’s team comprises graduates from the University of Nevada, Reno’s engineering and science departments. And the company shows no signs of slowing down regarding innovation. The HORIBA team has compiled more than 17 United States utility invention patents, and more are pending nationally and internationally.
HORIBA sells technology to companies like Samsung Electronics, Taiwan Semiconductor (TSMC), Applied Materials, and Lam Research. These represent some of the most prominent players in the semiconductor microchip industry and related areas. HORIBA Instruments brings in $500 million in global sales, and it all began with the invention of the “pressure-based mass flow controller.” The concept was developed in the Silver State and is used in approximately 60 percent of semiconductor manufacturing equipment. HORIBA’s products fuel a $117 billion global semiconductor equipment market and have helped put Reno on the map as one of the nation’s innovation centers.
2. Dragonfly Energy
Headquartered in Reno, Nevada, Dragonfly Energy remains an industry leader in deep-cycle lithium-ion storage battery manufacturing. These batteries play a significant role in fueling sustainability through green technologies. As a result, the company received this year’s EIA Award for Manufacturing Excellence in the large company category.
In recent years, Dragonfly Energy has surged to the forefront of the lithium-ion battery technology industry because of its innovative patents and alignment with compelling consumer products (e.g., Keystone RV, etc.) Beginning in 2021, the company experienced significant expansion allowing it to ramp up production and sales. In 2022, the company started trading on the NASDAQ (as DFLI), ushering in a new stage of brand growth and development.
Dragonfly Energy CEO Dr. Denis Phares explains, “Our mission is not only to facilitate the widespread deployment of energy storage on and off the grid but also to innovate our manufacturing processes to make it economically feasible to manufacture domestically while still competing on the world stage. We will continue to bring more jobs to Northern Nevada and do our part to [promote] onshore production, helping ensure that American technology and innovation grows the American economy.” Find out more about how Dragonfly Energy is revolutionizing the alternative energy business in Nevada.
3. Halogen Systems, Inc.
If you don’t have clean drinking water, it’s hard to focus on much else. Yet, pollution, increased population, drought, and various other factors can make maintaining water quality a challenge. That’s where Halogen Systems, Inc., works to make the world a better place. The company has developed a novel sensor technology in Nevada now manufactured for worldwide distribution. It has more than 12 international patents on this one-of-a-kind sensor platform.
Halogen Systems first came on the scene through its work with the Office of Naval Research (ONR). The ONR provided the company with a series of Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contracts to support the creation of its distinctive sensor platform. This technology has since been applied and adapted for Ballast Water Treatment systems.
Halogen has also developed models to assist in wastewater and drinking water monitoring. Its patented sensor technology allows for advanced remote monitoring and cloud storage to drinking water systems, which translates into enhanced water quality monitoring. What’s more, Halogen’s sensor is self-cleaning, flow-independent, and the only NSF61 Certified sensor used with drinking water. Halogen Systems means better quality control of the water people rely on daily.
Switch continues to lead the way in designing sustainable hyper-scale data centers that rely on 100 percent renewable energy using 100 percent recycled water. The company helped develop a $1.3 billion project powered by solar panels and battery technology. Projects like these allow Switch to keep the digital world connected through the largest data center campuses in the world.
Fueling these campuses is the world’s most ambitious behind-the-meter solar and battery project, which includes 555MW of solar power supported by 800MWh of Tesla Megapack battery storage. Switch’s pursuit of environmentally-friendly solutions doesn’t end there. The company also focuses on water conservation efforts.
Switch is developing a 16-mile-long effluent water pipeline in Northern Nevada to fuel a new facility in Reno. The Reno location will contain 7.2 square feet of IT capacity and a total power capacity of 850 megawatts. In the process, Switch will protect local wildlife, reduce nitrate pollution in the Truckee River, and increase Reno-Sparks’ municipal water treatment capacity, permitting the construction of an additional 25,000 homes.
Another innovative company that’s employing technology in creative ways is MOBE. The health outcomes company relies on artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and deep data science to predict and identify healthcare spending patterns. The company has developed a predictive model, providing vital insights that power better outcomes.
MOBE connects people with guides and pharmacists at strategic stages along the healthcare journey via phone and the MOBE app. By guiding its customers to make informed decisions, MOBE has helped lower cost burdens at every step, from individual payments to health plans and employers’ contributions.
The company boasts five times greater engagement than the healthcare industry standard, and it has reduced prescribed drug use by 15 percent. MOBE has also facilitated improved mental health by 60 percent. These successes have translated into more than $210 million in healthcare savings to date.
Northern Nevada’s Most Innovative Companies
When it comes to innovative companies using technology, Reno-Tahoe boasts some of the most exciting movers and shakers in the nation. They’re pioneering cutting-edge technology to meet the challenges of the 21st century while enriching Northern Nevada’s economy and employing thousands of locals. Would you like to learn more about how to get in on the tech-savvy action in Nevada? Submit your resume today. Work Live Play Reno Tahoe is a community-wide initiative powered by EDAWN to recruit skilled workers with all levels of expertise to join the Northern Nevada workforce. Get started by submitting your resume, browse hiring companies, and connect directly with Lindsey, our Community Liaison, who will help lead your quest for employment. Working Remotely? Check out our extensive list of Remote Worker Resources. Students can also participate! Visit our new Student Portal to start making connections for your future.
Engrid Barnett is an award-winning travel writer and digital content marketer based in Western Nevada. Recognized by the Nevada Press Association in 2019, her work has been featured in Nevada Magazine, Northern Nevada Business Weekly, Tahoe South, Rova, American Trails, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, and more.
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