FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Sortera Alloys, an early-stage green tech company, is expanding from Fort Worth into Fort Wayne. The Texas-based company today announced plans to locate a manufacturing center on the east side of the Summit City, creating up to 100 new jobs and bringing an investment of up to $4.2 million to the community.
Sortera uses cutting-edge artificial intelligence to sort and recycle non-ferrous scrap metal from vehicles on a commercial scale. These metals–aluminum, copper, zinc, brass, and others–can then be converted into new, high-value products. Companies can save up to 95% on energy and greenhouse gases when using recycled metals, particularly aluminum, compared to using new materials.
Sortera is led by a team of seasoned innovators in the fields of advanced materials, electronic instrumentation, and equipment development. After demonstrating their technology as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), the company recently received an investment from Chrysalix Venture Capital, a global venture capital fund. Now, Sortera is partnering with local metal processing companies to deploy a fully integrated demonstration system at a facility in Fort Wayne. The demonstration system is projected to produce 100 million pounds of recycled materials per year. Company leaders hope to eventually replicate the system all over the world.
“This new facility will be the place we take our technology to the next level,” said Dr. Nalin Kumar, founder, CEO, and president of Sortera. “We believe we can make a global impact, and we’re happy to take this important step in Fort Wayne.”
Sortera will locate its Fort Wayne operations in a 40,000-square-foot space at 909 N. Coliseum Blvd. which is expected to be operational by March 2021. Company leaders plan to hire software engineers, electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, technicians, and other workers. Interested applicants can learn more by emailing email@example.com. Sortera currently employs 15 in Texas and six in Indiana.
“Indiana continues to lead the way in advanced manufacturing as companies like Sortera choose to locate and innovate in our state,” said Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger. “With our skilled and robust manufacturing workforce that employs one in five Hoosiers, Indiana is a great place for cutting-edge innovators to establish and grow.”
The IEDC offered Sortera up to $1 million in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans. These incentives are performance-based, meaning that until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. Northeast Indiana Works will provide additional hiring and training assistance.
“We’re encouraged to see that companies continue to look to Fort Wayne to invest and grow,” Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry said. “We welcome Sortera Alloys and look forward to their success. This significant financial investment and new jobs indicate our community is heading in the right direction as a leader in unique economic development opportunities.”
Sortera chose to locate within the Summit City Entrepreneur and Enterprise District (SEED) and therefore qualifies for investment-based tax savings. The SEED offers real estate and personal property tax benefits for commercial investments to enhance manufacturing, innovation, technology, and logistics. In 2018, the City of Fort Wayne expanded SEED beyond its original urban core to include major commercial corridors emanating out of downtown. The district expansion doubled the number of businesses that qualify for the incentives. To learn more about SEED, visit SEEDFW.org.
“When the State added technology, innovation, and logistics to the list of qualified manufacturing incentives, Sortera is the type of company they wanted to attract to Indiana,” said Trois Hart, director of SEED. “Strategically, the company’s AI technology has applications beyond the sorting system which bodes very well for Fort Wayne and other companies in the SEED.”
About Sortera Alloys
Sortera Alloys is the developer of an intelligent sorting system for the upcycling of non-ferrous scrap metal, including aluminum, copper, zinc, and brass. The system enables accurate, high throughput sorting by metal type and alloy composition through a combination of sensor fusion (XRF, optical), AI/ML image processing and an advanced scrap feeder design. For more information, visit sorteraalloys.com.
About Greater Fort Wayne Inc.
Greater Fort Wayne (GFW) Inc. serves Fort Wayne and Allen County, Ind., as its metro chamber alliance and primary point of contact for economic growth. GFW Inc. focuses on prosperity and community vibrancy through economic development, advocacy, programs and resources that support business success, leadership development, graduate retention, and community engagement. GFW Inc. worked with state and local partners to assist Sortera Alloys with its expansion plans. In 2019, GFW Inc. assisted 21 businesses in expansions or relocations in Allen County, resulting in a total of 1,187 projected new jobs, more than $52 million in new annual payroll, and more than $139 million in new investment.