The Rochester, New York-based start-up will continue the development of OLED lighting by licensing the technology from LG. Kodak focused on lighting in the final few years of its OLED business.
+Plastic Electronics revealed in February that TechnoCorp Energy was being formed by Kodak's ex-employees, following the sale of the OLED business.
LG declined to take on Kodak's R&D team as part of the $100 million (€73 million) deal to buy the OLED business last year, raising the question of whether the South Korean electronics firm - more active in displays than lighting, based on recent announcements - would be interested in progressing the OLED lighting technology.
The formation of TechnoCorp indicated that work on solid-state lighting would continue for some of Kodak's R&D team. And the plan to pick up where Kodak's OLED business finished, by licensing the LG technology, was confirmed in a business pitch by the start-up at the recent Cleantech Forum in San Francisco, California, the US.
Richard Miller, innovation platform leader at the UK's Technology Strategy Board, attended the conference. He notes the company ultimately plans to create produce OLED panels with 70lm/w brightness, at a cost of $65/m² : significantly beyond the standards of panels now on the market.
He comments: 'The company is looking for strategic partnerships and joint ventures. The figures it mentioned were presented as the endgame that it can deliver.'
Further technical specifications and details on when these targets will be achieved were not covered in the company's presentation, Miller adds.
'The company is looking for funding, and they were pitching very high efficiencies and drastic reductions in cost. The technology wasn't discussed though - this was a business pitch,' he says.
Joe Runde, associate director of the OLED Association, says that gaining 70lm/w brightness is 'achievable' - Kodak had previously recorded 56lm/w in 2009 - but that production costs would be a challenge.
Runde remarks: '$65/m² is going to take a lot of doing. That would imply some kind of flexible substrate and would suggest TechnoCorp has the machine tools at their disposal.
'It may have signed up to a partnership or agreed to take over development for another OLED producer.'
And the licensing agreement presents the question of how the market entry process will be funded.
Runde adds: '$65/m² is great, but at that price it will have to be running all the time and fill a factory, which means constantly supplying panels.
'They may need to form a relationship with someone who makes luminaires and find ways to help them build the market for OLED products, or work with industrial lighting designers to create the lamps or light fittings that will sell. Then they need to convince stores to put a significant supply of replacements on the shelves.'
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Kodak OLED team form independent lighting company
The OLED developers at Kodak are forming an independent company to continue its work in solid-state lighting, called TechnoCorp Energy
LG buys OLED business from Kodak
US firm Eastman Kodak has sold its OLED business to South Korea's LG
Philips enhances OLED lighting range
Next month Philips Lighting will revamp its online store www.lumiblade.com with new offerings and lower prices to spark a second wave of demand for its OLED lamps
The new company could take the development of OLED lighting further
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