MOVA expands Research and Development in Pulaski

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The MOVA Research and Development team stands in front of devise used for testing absorption media. From left: Matt Dejager, Will Bump, Laura Simpson, John Schott and Love Dep Singh. (William Paine/The Patriot)


The Patriot


MOVA Technologies, which maintains offices at 29 West Main Street in Pulaski, has now opened a Research and Development facility across town on Commerce Street.


“This is our new R & D facility,” said MOVA CEO John Schott, as he stood at the entrance to the building. “We’re a climate tech company and we’re developing an air filtration technology that works for carbon capture but also has applications in a number of industries including agriculture.”


“We’re researching selective air filtration technology,” Schott continued. “So that we can target a specific contaminant for capture and harvesting … so that it can be redeployed as a resource.”

Since its founding, MOVA has raised nearly $1.8 million in private investment and received more than $650,000 in grant funding, including grants from the federal government, GO Virginia, and the Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation.

MOVA’s R & D facility is located across from the Town of Pulaski’s public works facility on State Street. The interior space is dominated by a very large metal contraption that takes up nearly half the room. This is where testing of the newly developed filtration media occurs. A long table, lined with several laptop computers dominates the other half of the room. In front of each computer, four young adults are occupied with various research associated with the development of filtration media/sorbents.


“They’re designing equipment to efficiently bring the air into our system,” said Schott. “We’re testing different absorption media to optimize how to capture the targeted compound and then pull that back off the media. So, it can be harvested and reused. That’s the types of things we’re testing.”


Twenty-two-year-old Laura Simpson and 20-year-old Will Bump are studying chemical engineering at Virginia Tech and are currently part of MOVA’s summer intern program. Twenty-four-year-old Matt Dejager is working on his graduate degree in Mechanical Engineering at VT.

These three are participating in the Experiential Learning in Tech Employment (ELITE) grant program. Go Virginia pays half the salaries for these interns and MOVA pays the other half.

Twenty-six-year-old Love Dep Singh Graduated from VT in 2019 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and is a full time hire at MOVA.


“The majority of the five interns that are rolling through will become full time employees,” said Steve Critchfield, founder and President of MOVA. “It’s a good way to vet possible employees.”


MOVA recently received a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy worth approximately $200,000.


“The grant that just was awarded by DOE, is the grant that’s jumpstarting MOVA into developing this industrial carbon capture system,” Critchfield explained. “Why should you create more carbon dioxide and add to global warming, if you could have someone create a device that captures carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and use it in your industrial process and not add to global warming?”


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MOVA’s recently opened Research and Development facility is located at the corner of Commerce Street and State Street in Pulaski. (William Paine/The Patriot)

“The rest of the world, like Bill Gates and them, are building these behemoth carbon capture things that are the size of Burris Hall,” Critchfield continued. “They want to capture so much carbon dioxide, that they don’t know what to do with it. So, they’re going to shoot it into the ground … and that’s important. It needs to be done. But think of all the industrial companies in the world that need carbon dioxide and they’re having to create it and add to the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.”


“Why not just go ahead and figure out how to capture it, reuse it, not have to ship it?  What’s cool is these devices will literally be right there on the plants. These devises will be right there at the vertical growth center, right there at the bottling company, right there at the canning company, so that they can create the carbon dioxide they need. No transportation. No creation of new carbon dioxide. This this is what the world also needs and MOVA is moving down that path.”


Critchfield added that though the R & D facility on Commerce Street just opened this month, it will likely only be in its current location for a short time, as the plan is to build a new facility that will serve as both the R & D lab and MOVA’s new company headquarters.


If all goes according to plan, the R & D facility will expand its workforce to upwards of 10 full time employees and the new MOVA facility will be constructed in two or three years’ time.


Where this new facility will be located has not yet been determined but according to MOVA President Steve Critchfield, it will be somewhere in downtown Pulaski.