Konarka Secures $5 Million Loan for Manufacturing and Job Creation
State Enhances Commitment to Konarka with Financing from the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust
Lowell, Mass. – Feb. 18, 2009 – Konarka Technologies, Inc., an innovator in development and commercialization of Konarka Power Plastic®, a material that converts light to energy, today announced the company has received $5 million in financing in connection with its recently opened production facility in the city of New Bedford. The long-term loan comes from a funding collaboration between the Emerging Technology Fund of Massachusetts Development Finance Agency and the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust’s Business Expansion Initiative.
Governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick stated, “With our vast array of technology expertise and resources, Massachusetts has the capability to become a global center for alternative and renewable energy, and Konarka is helping to solidify our commitment to a clean energy future. I am delighted Konarka is bringing more jobs to the Commonwealth – especially in the area of renewable energy.”
With the opening of its manufacturing location in New Bedford in October 2008, Konarka further expanded its presence in Massachusetts, retrofitting Polaroid’s advanced technology development and flagship large-scale manufacturing facility to develop and commercialize Konarka Power Plastic.
“This financing further demonstrates the State’s commitment toward broad-scale solar adoption and green job creation in the area of clean energy,” commented Howard Berke, executive chairman and co-founder of Konarka. “We appreciate the continued support from the collaborative effort of the Renewable Energy Trust and the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency, as we utilize the funds for manufacturing plant and equipment capacity expansion.”
Konarka’s advanced photovoltaic technology started with the work of the late Dr. Sukant Tripathy, an internationally known polymer materials scientist, provost at UMASS Lowell and founder of the Plastic Innovation Center and Dr. Alan Heeger, Konarka’s chief scientist, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2000. The ground-breaking discoveries by both founding scientists led to Konarka’s underlying technology leadership with a broad IP portfolio of over 300 patents, including a manufacturing process at relatively low temperatures, which enables the use of low-cost plastic substrate films. As a result of these pioneering innovations, the company has secured over $150 million from leading strategic corporate investors, venture capital and private equity funds globally, as well as $20 million in government agency research grants from the U.S. and Europe.
About Konarka Technologies, Inc. Konarka develops and manufactures solar plastic films that convert light to energy – anywhere. As the leading developer of polymer-based, organic photovoltaic (OPV) technology that provide a source of renewable power in a variety of form factors, Konarka has a broad portfolio of patents, technology licenses and an accomplished technical, scientific and manufacturing team. Manufactured at low cost and low energy consumption, the company's Konarka Power Plastic® technology is lightweight, flexible, scalable and adaptable for use in a variety of commercial, industrial, government and consumer applications. Konarka Technologies is headquartered in Lowell, Mass., U.S.A. and has a full scale production manufacturing facility in New Bedford, Mass. U.S.A., with European headquarters in Nurnberg, Germany, business development offices in Asia and a research and development facility in Austria. For additional information, visit http://www.konarka.com.
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