SSL technology gets more government funding

The U.S. government has turned up the dimmer switch on solid-state lighting (SSL) technology once again. With almost $15 million of new government funding going to support of new R&D projects, it will only help to speed up the development and use of the technology in light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), which are reported to be up to 10 times more energy-efficient than incandescent lighting and have the potential to last 25 times longer, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The projects selected to receive the funding are located in four states.

"These investments in cutting-edge lighting technologies will support American innovation, create new manufacturing jobs for U.S. workers, and help ensure that the United States leads the world in this rapidly evolving industry," said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

The projects selected address the full spectrum of research, development, and deployment for solid-state lighting (SSL) technologies and will leverage an additional $4 million in private sector funding.

Research Triangle Institute in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina; University of Rochester in Rochester, New York; Soraa (www.soraa.com), a company specializing in disruptive energy-saving technology in Goleta, California; and Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, will share $4.3 million in funding for core technology research, which includes filling gaps in development, improving scientific knowledge, and providing performance data.

On the product development front, Cree (www.cree.com), an LED and semiconductor product manufacturer in Goleta, California, and Philips Lumileds Lighting in San Jose, California, will share $3.6 million in product-development funding to work on improvements in materials, devices and systems.

Almost $7 million in SSL manufacturing money will go to Veeco Instruments in Plainview, New York, which will receive $4 million, and Moser Baer Technologies in Canandaigua, New York, which gets the remainder, to achieve cost reductions and enhanced quality by improving manufacturing equipment, processes, or monitoring techniques. These projects will address the technical challenges that must be overcome to make LEDs and OLEDs cost-competitive with other lighting options.

This is the seventh round of DOE funding for SSL core technology research and product development and the second time the DOE has funded SSL manufacturing projects. These efforts are part of DOE's initiative to accelerate the adoption of SSL technology. Learn more at www.ssl.energy.gov.

The NEMA Solid State Lighting Section (www.nema.org/prod/lighting/solid) has been creating standards at a breakneck pace to keep up with the innovations thus far. And the Next Generation Lighting Industry Alliance (NGLIA, www.nglia.org), which is administered by NEMA, was formed to foster a partnership between industry and government to speed up the technical foundation and commercialization of SSL systems.