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 from both founding scientists led to Konarka’s underlying technology leadership, 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 $100 million from leading venture capital and private equity funds, as well as $18 million in government agency research grants from the U.S. and Europe.
In addition to acquiring the fully automated roll-to-roll manufacturing line, the company has also hired the leading technology and process engineering teams from Polaroid, with plans to hire over 100 additional employees as production increases toward capacity over the next two to three years. Via::Konarka press release.