Veeco Instruments Inc. (Nasdaq: VECO) announced today that it has been awarded $4 million in R&D matching funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act by the U.S. Department of Energy to support high-efficiency solid state lighting projects. Solid state lighting, which uses light emitting diodes (LEDs) and organic LEDs (OLEDs) has the potential to be ten times more energy-efficient than traditional incandescent light bulbs.
Veeco’s proposal was focused on driving down the cost of high brightness LEDs through the advancement of its metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) technology. MOCVD is the critical enabling technology for the production of LEDs. The overall objective of this two year program is to develop high-volume MOCVD systems that provide a 4X reduction in the cost of epitaxial growth for LED devices, with the ultimate goal of a 10X reduction in LED costs. Veeco will partner with Sandia National Laboratories on this project.
According to John Peeler, Veeco’s Chief Executive Officer, “Veeco is very excited to have been granted this important DOE funding, which will enable us to speed-up development of our next generation MOCVD systems. The funding will support the retention and creation of jobs in Veeco’s Plainview, N.Y. and Somerset, N.J. facilities. We would like to thank the DOE for this grant, and to acknowledge the support of Congressman Steve Israel, who represents New York’s 2nd Congressional District and Congressman Rush Holt, who represents New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District. Both Congressmen are strong proponents of the advancement of “green energy” technologies, and understand the importance of solid state lighting to significantly cut energy use, reduce our carbon footprint, and save money, as well as to create high-tech, value-added U.S. jobs.” Veeco currently employs over 350 people in its Plainview and Somerset locations.
Rep. Israel commented, “This Recovery Act funding for Veeco will create new jobs in our growing clean technology industry while helping develop new technologies that will save American consumers money. Boosting efficiency is all about giving consumers a strong return on investment. Veeco is working to do just that by reducing the cost of efficient lighting while building the industry on Long Island.”
“This is good news, and I congratulate Veeco for receiving this funding. In a few years, LED lighting will be everywhere, and New Jersey should be in the forefront of creating the jobs that will make it happen,” added Rep. Holt.
In total the Department of Energy awarded more than $37 million in funding for solid state lighting programs. Veeco’s proposal was one of eight selected as part of U.S. Manufacturing FOA DE-FOA-0000057, projects focused on achieving significant cost reductions and enhancing quality through improvements in SSL manufacturing equipment, processes or monitoring techniques. Projects address the technical challenges that must be overcome before prices fall to a level where solid state lighting will be competitive with existing lighting on a first-cost basis. The total value of manufacturing selections is $23.5 million; the performers will provide an average of 51% as cost-share.