Kristin Richards

CHICAGO – Bedrock Materials, a pioneering battery technology startup, along with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), Intersect Illinois and World Business Chicago, announced it has chosen to locate its research & development (R&D) headquarters in Chicago. The company plans to expand its R&D and manufacturing footprint in Illinois, after it recently closed $9 million in seed funding.

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“Illinois is home to one of the most robust EV ecosystems in the nation, and I’m thrilled to welcome Bedrock Materials to our great state,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Their research and development headquarters will join our growing EV supply chain, bringing innovation and job creation to our EV economy.”

Bedrock Materials originated out of Stanford University to reduce the cost of electric vehicles (EVs) through the commercialization of sodium-ion battery (SIB) materials. The company designs and manufactures engineered electrode materials that allow battery makers to produce SIB at scale. Bedrock chose to locate and scale in Illinois because of the state’s access to talent, its EV tech and manufacturing ecosystems, and its tremendous R&D community, including Argonne National Laboratory.

"The choice to come to Chicago was an easy one. There is arguably one active laboratory in America that has produced a successful automotive battery chemistry, and it’s here,” said Spencer Gore, CEO of Bedrock Materials. "Argonne National Laboratory wrote the book on modern sodium-ion technology. Today, pulling on the deep regional talent pool they have built, we are excited to perfect and scale it.”

Gore also noted Illinois’ quality of life that cannot be matched by other tech hubs, its cost of living, the public school system, its world-class public transportation and unmatched cultural amenities including museums, restaurants, theater and more.

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“On behalf of Chicago's residents and businesses, I extend a sincere welcome and congratulations to Bedrock Materials for choosing our city as the location for its Research & Development headquarters,” said Mayor Brandon Johnson. “This decision reflects the strength of Chicago's talent pool, our esteemed research and academic institutions, and the vibrant tech ecosystem emerging here. We look forward to the positive impact Bedrock Materials will have on our city's growing tech sector.”

The announcement comes on the heels of Illinois’ inaugural EV Industry Day, where industry stakeholders and thought leaders came together to advance the adoption and production of EVs in Illinois. Bedrock was part of a panel on developing an EV supply chain.

With its commitment to investing $2.5 million and adding at least 25 jobs, Bedrock will receive Reimagining Energy and Vehicles (REV) incentives from DCEO. REV provides competitive incentives for EV, solar, renewable and energy storage manufacturers to move or expand in Illinois. A link to the executed REV agreement can be found here.

“Bedrock’s decision to locate its research and development headquarters in Chicago speaks to Illinois’ growing reputation as an EV industry leader,” said DCEO Director Kristin Richards. “Bedrock's state-of-the-art technology will not only help bolster the state’s economy, but it will also enhance our continued efforts towards building a clean energy future.”

“Illinois provides an ideal location for innovative, forward-thinking companies like Bedrock to thrive,” said Intersect Illinois CEO Dan Seals. “In Illinois Bedrock will find a support system of like-minded companies and research organizations along with unmatched higher-education institutions producing top-notch talent that supports growth."

Bedrock will initially be located at mHUB, the hardtech incubator in Chicago. mHUB has become a destination for hardtech innovators from around the world to scale their business. It recently opened a new 80,000-square-foot innovation center for physical product development and entrepreneurship at 1623 W. Fulton Street.

Illinois is home to more than 1,000 companies across the EV supply chain and has the infrastructure to support continued growth, having invested more than $45 billion in modernizing roads, bridges, airports, ports and universities through 2025. A top-10 producer of engineering, computer science, and precision production talent in the U.S., the State has invested more than $180 million in renewable energy workforce training since 2021 through its Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) alone, and works closely with EV manufacturers and community colleges to build the EV workforce of tomorrow.

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