With new funding from a federal Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant of over $600,000, the Innovation Accelerator Foundation (IAF) and Kodak’s Eastman Business Park (EBP) are partnering to accelerate the commercialization of technologies for products in the areas of energy and bio-materials advanced manufacturing.
This EDA investment goes directly to support the development of the Innovation, Manufacturing, and Material Science Institute (IMMSI) at Eastman Business Park in Rochester. The project provides access to a wide range of research and development capabilities, creating a more efficient and economical pathway for technology entrepreneurs to develop their businesses, and whose success will result in a more robust regional economy.
John Pyrovolakis, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Innovation Accelerator and its non-profit arm, the Innovation Accelerator Foundation, said his team has worked with hundreds of startup companies across the country, and many of these companies could benefit from the infrastructure provided through the IMMSI initiative.
“Our nation remains the global innovation leader in the areas of EBP’s and Kodak’s historic strengths: materials and chemicals – both vital components of photovoltaic technology, bio-based plastics, energy solutions and chemistry as well as batteries, ultra-capacitors, fuel cells and energy storage technology,” said Pyrovolakis. “However U.S. innovations in these areas are increasingly being manufactured – and monetized – abroad. It is our hope that supporting the IMMSI initiative will buck this trend to the benefit of both this region and the country as a whole.”
According to Michael Alt, Director of Eastman Business Park, the IMMSI concept was founded on the idea of speeding the pathway from proof of concept to commercialization, with less risk, less capital investment and greater predictability for technology entrepreneurs.
“Moving the IMMSI program into a tightly-aligned, well-funded relationship with IAF is a great step forward,” said Alt. “We’re thrilled to work in partnership with an organization that has common goals, a national reach and a strong track record of success.”
IMMSI will help leverage more than $50 million worth of development tools and a highly skilled workforce at EBP – as well as resources found throughout the region such as at the local universities. Support for technology developers will take the form of access to:
- a deep materials science knowledge base
- a suite of development, pilot scale and high volume manufacturing tools
- an extensive physical infrastructure to support manufacturing, including low-cost electrical power, fresh water supplies
- skilled regional workforce
- expert guidance for companies to remove the roadblocks on the path to commercialization so full focus can be placed on bringing products to market as quickly as possible
“Accelerating the growth of America’s entrepreneurial innovation economy is of critical importance to this country as it strives to compete globally in today’s dynamic marketplace,” added Pyrovolakis. “While the U.S. remains one of the most innovative, creative, and industrious nations in the world, it is challenged to find new ways to successfully bring next generation products to market. In order to win, we need to nourish IP beyond the lab from prototyping to proof of concept and into commercialization by enabling high tech start-ups to substantially reduce the time and expense it takes to become self-sustaining, create advanced manufacturing jobs in the innovation economy, and turn a profit. We hope that IMMSI will help do just that.”
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer said, “This federal funding is great news for job-creating entrepreneurs at the Eastman Business Park accelerator, who will now benefit from the manufacturing hub’s ambitious plan to get more high-tech businesses off the ground to create new jobs over the next decade. I am pleased the EDA has made this wise investment in the kinds of high-tech research, innovation and manufacturing businesses that will create good-paying local jobs and significantly contribute to Rochester’s regional economy over the long-term.”
According to U.S Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, “Investments like this one help boost the local economy, attract new businesses and create more jobs in Rochester. Helping local businesses and entrepreneurs within Eastman Business Park connect to federal opportunities like this one is essential to the longevity of Upstate New York’s economic growth.”
“Eastman Business Park is one of our region’s greatest economic assets and is already becoming a magnet for new high-tech energy companies and the jobs that come with those businesses,” said U.S Representative Louise Slaughter. “Our strategy of securing federal investments to support the Park and attract new companies to the region is paying off, and I will continue to work tirelessly to create new jobs in our region. I thank Andrew Reid of the Economic Development Administration for coming to tour the Park last May and for his attention to our region’s economic needs. I look forward to a productive relationship with EDA going forward.”
“Rochester is undergoing a renaissance by investing in high-tech industry, while embracing our past,” Mayor Lovely Warren said. “Eastman Business Park is now a hub of innovation and opportunity, attracting jobs to our city, allowing us to create more vibrant neighborhoods and improve access to a quality education for our residents. This was made possible because of the region's Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership designation, led by the City of Rochester. We’re thankful that the U.S. Economic Development Administration took an interest in Rochester, and we look forward to much more good news to come.”
About Eastman Business Park
Kodak’s Eastman Business Park is multi-use research and advanced manufacturing center in Rochester, NY. This 1,200 acre campus encompasses more than 100 buildings, 2.5 million square feet of space, and over 50 miles of integrated roads and rail targeting numerous points throughout the Northeast. EBP possesses a self-generated utility infrastructure and bench top to prototype analytical tools supporting the commercialization of clean technology products in the materials science space. Some of the more than 60 companies located within this unique innovation ecosystem are manufacturing highly diverse specialty chemicals, thin films and medical products, while others are advancing the development and deployment of functional films, energy storage and bio-mass materials. Visit us at www.eastmanbusinesspark.com or follow us on Twitter @FollowEBP.
Kodak is a technology company focused on imaging. We provide – directly and through partnerships with other innovative companies – hardware, software, consumables and services to customers in graphic arts, commercial print, publishing, packaging, electronic displays, entertainment and commercial films, and consumer products markets. With our world-class R&D capabilities, innovative solutions portfolio and highly trusted brand, Kodak is helping customers around the globe to sustainably grow their own businesses and enjoy their lives. For additional information on Kodak, visit us at kodak.com, follow us on Twitter @Kodak, or like us on Facebook at KodakNow.
About Innovation Accelerator
Innovation Accelerator (IA) http://www.innovationaccelerator.org/ is the private component of a public-private partnership with the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program at the National Science Foundation (NSF). The goal of this partnership is to facilitate the commercialization efforts of high-technology small businesses funded by grants from the NSF SBIR program. IA-supported companies have exited, forged significant strategic partnerships, and raised substantial private financing in the last four years. In 2012, IA launched a not-for-profit Innovation Accelerator Foundation (IAF) as an extension organization to provide additional tools in supporting IA’s mission of promoting America’s economic competitiveness in the global economy by promoting American innovation.
Kelly Mandarano, +1 585-724-0903