Biden-Harris Administration Awards Planning Grant for Development of Lithium Extraction Strategic Framework

As part of the President’s Investing in America agenda, the U.S. Department of Commerce leverages Tech Hubs Program to spur regional innovation and job creation.

WASHINGTON, DC — The Biden-Harris administration, through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), today announced that the Lithium Valley Clean Tech Strategy Development Consortium in Riverside, California, was awarded a Tech Hubs Strategy Development Grant to create the strategic framework to further develop and implement direct lithium extraction from regional lithium brine deposits, contributing to a sustainable, inclusive, advanced-energy ecosystem in Southern California and securing the national lithium-based energy supply chain.

The Lithium Valley Clean Tech Strategy Development Consortium, a consortium led by the University of California Riverside, will leverage the grant to increase local coordination and planning activities to strengthen its region’s capacity to manufacture, commercialize, and deploy technologies critical to U.S. economic and national security. The Tech Hubs Program, authorized by the CHIPS and Science Act, is investing in U.S. regions and aims to transform them into globally competitive innovation centers. This consortium was selected for a grant from a competitive pool of 181 applications.

“President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is rooted in policies that will empower the United States to out-innovate and out-compete the rest of the world. Our Tech Hubs Program is fundamental to that mission and will supercharge innovation across the nation by spurring cutting-edge technological investments and creating 21st century job opportunities in people’s backyards,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “Each of these consortia will help us ensure the industries of the future—and their good-paying jobs—start, grow, and remain in the United States.”

“These outstanding consortia exemplify place-based economic development strategies at their best: combining federal resources with regional assets, expertise, and coalitions to implement transformational opportunities,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “As each region develops its own strategy to catalyze innovation and job creation, the entire nation grows more secure and more competitive.”

“California’s Lithium Valley holds incredible promise to fast-track the nation’s transition to clean energy and bolster our fight against climate change,” said California Governor Gavin Newsom. “Our state is making historic progress to transform this region into a global hub for battery production while expanding inclusive economic opportunity, community benefits, and good jobs in the Imperial Valley. We’re grateful for the Biden-Harris administration’s support to continue this momentum at a pivotal point in the world’s efforts to move away from fossil fuels.”

“Lithium is vital to meeting our climate goals and quickly transitioning to a sustainable, clean energy environment,” said California Senator Alex Padilla. “California and UC Riverside are at the forefront of this movement, and this funding will help them further unlock the potential of the Lithium Valley to sustain our national energy supply chain and bolster our economic and national security. I’m proud to see the CHIPS and Science Act continue to deliver wins for California.”

“Congratulations to UC Riverside for receiving this award to establish the Lithium Valley project,” said California Senator Laphonza Butler. “This technology hub will lead efforts to determine whether California’s Lithium Valley can meet America’s demand for lithium, which is required for electric vehicle batteries, in a sustainable and environmentally conscious way. This hub has the potential to form a new domestic battery industry that would be an economic boon for California.”

“Imperial Valley and the clean lithium extraction technology from geothermal energy production is poised to pave the way for our necessary climate change goals, energy independence from fossil fuel, and clean energy economic development with battery manufacturing and recycling. Lithium Valley is a strategic national security opportunity for a stable and secure supply of critical minerals,” said Representative Raul Ruiz (CA-25). “I’m thrilled our local consortium received the Tech Hub Strategy Development Grant and I’m excited to get to work with incredible partners on this enormous opportunity for our local communities, state, and nation.”

“Lithium is a critical mineral used in batteries that power renewable energy products such as electric vehicles. We cannot rely on the Chinese Communist Party to fuel our lives, which is why ensuring technologies are made here in the United States is vital for our economy and national security. I supported the CHIPS and Science Act last year to make strategic investments to expand and strengthen our domestic supply of these important resources,” said Representative Young Kim (CA-40). “I am thrilled that the Lithium Valley Clean Tech Strategy Development Consortium at UC Riverside, right here in Southern California, was awarded a Tech Hubs Strategy Development Grant through the CHIPS and Science Act to play a hands-on role in securing our supply chains. I look forward to working with UC Riverside and the administration to monitor progress and promote innovation.”

“California’s 39th Congressional District is poised to be a leader in the future of energy and national security through this exciting investment in the Lithium Valley Clean Tech Strategy Development Consortium. I’m thrilled to see the University of California, Riverside play a critical role in the securing of our energy supply chain. I was proud to vote for the Chips and Science Act to empower this administration and the Department of Commerce to make investments in Southern California, and in our future,” said Representative Mark Takano (CA-39).

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About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.


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