Eastman Kodak Company and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the largest science and energy laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy, have entered into an agreement to increase national competitiveness in roll-to-roll manufacturing, thus accelerating commercialization and manufacturing of next generation battery and energy storage devices and materials.

The agreement is intended to transform the development and manufacturing of new products in the clean energy sector by connecting emerging companies with resources at both Oak Ridge and Kodak’s Eastman Business Park (EBP).

In doing so, it is also meant to spark the formation of new, high-tech entrepreneurial companies at EBP, resulting in the creation of new, high-skilled jobs within New York’s Finger Lakes Region.

“The diverse capabilities of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, spanning a wide range of scientific and engineering disciplines, will support accelerated development of the growing base of clean energy companies at Eastman Business Park,” said John McMullen, Kodak’s Chief Financial Officer.

Martin Keller, Associate Laboratory Director for Oak Ridge National Laboratory said, “Under this agreement, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Kodak’s Eastman Business Park will provide a seamless support system for the next generation of innovative technologies-from invention to evaluation to scale up to market-ready consumer product. Together, we aim to transform the way new materials and systems are developed and manufactured in the U.S.”

This collaboration has the potential to make EBP a centerpiece in domestic development of clean energy technologies and the manufacturing of related products, according to Kodak’s Chief Technology Officer, Terry Taber.

“EBP has infrastructure and key technical capabilities, including expertise in high volume roll-to-roll manufacturing and deposition technologies, which are critical to the development of new economy growth markets, such as energy,” said Taber.

Roll-to-roll technology provides a more efficient manufacturing process, resulting in lower costs and higher quality through the continuous operation of production lines for coated products. Applications currently underway at EBP and Oak Ridge include:

– Energy sector technologies such as batteries, capacitors, fuel cells and thin film solar cells.
– Energy-saving products such as window films and LED lighting.
– Flexible electronics such as sensors for touch screens.

“Global investment in the clean energy sector has risen nearly five-fold since 2004, growing to $269 billion worldwide in 2012,” said Claus Daniel, Deputy Director of ORNL’s Sustainable Transportation Program. “Despite this growth, America has lost more than 30% of the jobs in the manufacturing sector since 2000. Technologies like roll-to-roll manufacturing can position the U.S. as a leader in this expanding sector.”

Derick Lila
Derick is a Clark University graduate—and Fulbright alumni with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, and Policy. He has over a decade of solar industry research, marketing, and content strategy experience.

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