FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 4, 2022) – Gov. Andy Beshear congratulated ElectraMet as company leaders cut the ribbon on a $6 million relocation and expansion project yesterday aimed at growing the company’s water treatment technologies and capabilities.
“ElectraMet shows the power of taking an idea and turning it into a reality that is making a positive impact on our state and local communities,” said Gov. Beshear. “As a previous SBIR/STTR Matching Funds awardee, this company’s success is a testament to how Kentucky’s resources for supporting technology development in the state can be used. I am thrilled about this expansion and look forward to ElectraMet continuing to thrive in the commonwealth.”
The expansion project will see ElectraMet move to a 26,000-square-foot facility at 140 Trade Street in Lexington. The space will allow for increased manufacturing capabilities, additional workforce and larger-scale systems. In addition, this new facility will allow the company to grow its recycling operations. This will allow ElectraMet’s water-treatment systems to provide not only the removal of targeted contaminants but also their recovery in a form that can be of value to customers, effectively mining wastewaters for valuable compounds.
“Our growth as a company from angel investment from the Bluegrass Angels in Lexington to a full-fledged water treatment provider has been tremendous,” said ElectraMet co-founder and CEO Cameron Lippert. “We have appreciated all the support from the community, the University of Kentucky and the State of Kentucky. The move into this new facility represents another step-change in our ability as a company to offer products for a variety of industrial and commercial customers.”
Lexington-based ElectraMet is a startup that was founded in 2013 after winning Awesome Inc.’s “5 Across” pitch competition. The water treatment company has developed technology to deliver clean water in a sustainable manner at a low cost. ElctraMet’s purification process relies less on chemicals and is less labor-intensive than conventional methods.
In 2014, the company received early funding through the Kentucky Enterprise Fund (KEF), funded through KY Innovation, and since 2015, has received multiple Small Business Innovation Research awards. Additionally, multiple investments in ElectraMet have been approved through Kentucky’s Angel Investment Tax Credit program, a Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) program administered by KY Innovation.
In 2020, the company was awarded $998,663 through the Federal SBIR Grant program and an additional $290,000 in Kentucky matching grants. The startup has taken additional advantage of programs such as the Kentucky Small Business Tax Credit and federal STEP program.
To date, KY SBIR companies have received $8 in federal or private capital for every $1 leveraged through the state’s matching funds program. These businesses also have created 715 well-paying jobs – 45% with annual salaries over $50,000 – and filed 218 patents. KY SBIR match recipients have more than $42 million in sales and licensing revenue.
Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton said she is excited about the environment being created in and around the area to allow new businesses to succeed.
“We are thankful to the leadership of ElectraMet for their continued commitment to Lexington,” said Mayor Gorton. “We often see new advancements in technology emerging from the University of Kentucky, which in turn benefits Lexington and our residents. I’m excited about the strength of Lexington’s entrepreneurial culture and the positive impact it has on our region.”
Commerce Lexington Inc. President and CEO Bob Quick congratulated the company on their expansion and noted the importance of fostering start-ups in the community.
“ElectraMet is a perfect example of how the local research community can nurture entrepreneurs and help develop great ideas into successful start-ups through innovative solutions that improve something specific for business and industry,” said Quick. “Congratulations to Drs. Lippert and Landon on this expansion, and thank you to those at the Center for Applied Energy Research, which supported and encouraged them along the way.”
ElectraMet’s investment and planned job creation furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state builds back stronger from the effects of the pandemic.
In 2021, the commonwealth shattered every economic development record in the books. Private-sector new-location and expansion announcements included a record $11.2 billion in total planned investment and commitments to create a record 18,000-plus full-time jobs across the coming years. Kentucky’s average incentivized hourly wage for projects statewide in 2021 was $24 before benefits, a 9.4% increase over the previous year.
Site Selection magazine’s annual Governor’s Cup rankings for 2021 placed Kentucky atop the South Central region, and third nationally, for qualifying projects per capita.
The economic momentum has carried strongly into 2022. On Jan. 28, S&P Global Ratings revised Kentucky’s financial outlook to positive from stable and affirmed its “A-” credit rating. S&P cited a reduced reliance on one-time items to balance the budget and a higher balance in the state’s rainy-day fund as primary factors influencing the change. And at the end of April, Fitch Ratings also elevated its outlook on Kentucky from “stable” to “positive,” recognizing the commonwealth’s surging economy.
In recent months, the commonwealth has seen its two largest economic development projects in the state’s history. In September, Gov. Beshear and leaders from Ford Motor Co. and SK Innovation celebrated a transformative $5.8 billion investment that will create 5,000 jobs in Hardin County. Last month, the Governor was joined by leadership at Envision AESC to announce a $2 billion investment that will create 2,000 jobs in Warren County. The announcements solidify Kentucky as the national leader in EV battery production.
Kentucky also saw an all-time, record-setting budget surplus in fiscal year 2021 and entered 2022 with an estimated $1.9 billion more than budgeted.
For more information on ElectraMet, visit electramet.com.
A detailed community profile for Fayette County can be viewed here.
Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at CED.ky.gov. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion at facebook.com/CEDkygov, on Twitter @CEDkygov, Instagram @CEDkygov and LinkedIn.