Ted Kaufman - United States Senator for Delaware

Delaware Officials Announce $1.5 Million Technology Grant

Federal stimulus grant will create jobs in research and manufacturing

January 22, 2010

NEWPORT, Del. – Senators Tom Carper and Ted Kaufman (both D-Del.) and Governor Jack Markell, among others, announced today that WhiteOptics LLC in Newark has received $1.5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop new technology: a highly reflective material that will improve efficiency, lifetime and cost for LED light fixtures.

The federal stimulus grant will generate opportunities for energy savings and job creation. This funding will create and-or save approximately five jobs immediately and has the potential to create 100 direct manufacturing jobs and hundreds of downstream installation-related jobs upon commercialization success.

“Today, we are celebrating partnerships,” said Sen. Carper.  “Delaware has always been a great place to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship and today is no different.  Not only are these companies taking a simple idea and honing it to help us all save on energy costs, conserve energy, and lower emissions; they are creating jobs in the process.  That is a winning combination for all involved.”  

“The DOE grant is an investment that will protect and create jobs right here and now; an investment in technologies that can create more jobs for the future,” Sen. Kaufman said. “It is one part of a bigger story about how we are working together to turn our economy around. We cannot be satisfied until we have all of our jobs back, until our economy is working for everyone.  But one thing we know for sure: without the stimulus money, we would be a lot worse off. Delaware has received $1.2 billion in ARRA funds – those funds are working already to keep people at work now and build a foundation for a growing economy.”

Under the DOE grant, WhiteOptics plans to work with The Crowell Corporation, located in Newport and where the press conference was held, and the University of Delaware. Technology developed under this program is intended to be commercialized in the U.S. to create manufacturing jobs and grow with the demand for energy efficient lighting domestically and globally.

“WhiteOptics and their partnership with The Crowell Corporation is exactly what’s best about Delaware.  We work together to find innovative ways to make a difference,” Gov. Markell said. “The technologies that will come from this partnership could have substantial national and even international impact, while creating the kind of quality jobs we need to move our economy forward.”

WhiteOptics applied for a competitive grant via the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA). WhiteOptics will work with Crowell to combine startup technology with proven manufacturing capability to improve energy efficiency, reduce the generation of greenhouse gases, and create jobs.

"This program is a prime example of the type of public private partnership that the University of Delaware and our faculty and research scientists are actively engaged in to bring innovative technologies and products to the market," said Patrick Harker, president, University of Delaware. "The University's Center for Composite Materials is proud to be working with the caliber of firms such as WhiteOptics and The Crowell Corporation. With this type of supporting DOE funding together we can develop pioneering products that will aid the lighting industry and this nation in improving energy efficiency."

“We are excited to be selected in this highly competitive round of DOE research funding,” said Eric Teather, president of WhiteOptics LLC. “We are honored to be associated with the other multinational companies and research organizations selected under this program.  I feel the DOE model of investing in strategic technology areas is an excellent way to spur US innovation. Getting this award allows WhiteOptics to stay in Delaware and accelerate the product development efforts that will help to enable energy efficient lighting and bring new, relevant manufacturing jobs sooner.”

“This technology has preserved two jobs at Crowell and should it become commercial we could easily create 15 jobs at Crowell in addition to what could be created if we were to retrofit factories, office buildings, and retail stores,” said Herb Adelman, president of Crowell Corporation. “There are millions of light fixtures that could be retrofitted for energy reasons, cost reasons, and efficiency reasons. This would not only create jobs at WhiteOptics and Crowell but thousands more in the retrofitting industry.”

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