ROCHESTER, NY, December 1, 2010 – Eastman Kodak Company is increasing its focus on innovation with a new initiative designed to spark additional dialogue in an increasingly competitive material sciences environment.
The company announced today the formation of the Innovation and Material Sciences Institute (IMSI). A consortium of cross-disciplinary thought leaders in science, business, government and education, IMSI will address the key roles of collaboration, comprehensive policy, and science in enhancing the climate of innovation as well as work to directly facilitate links between innovative start-ups and established businesses.
"Major breakthroughs and game-changing innovations are increasingly taking place at the intersections of material sciences," said Brad Kruchten, President, Film, Photofinishing & Entertainment Group, Senior Vice President, Eastman Kodak Company, and founding member of the Institute's board. "Many of the 21st Century business opportunities related to the green economy and renewable materials require the same strong technology foundation that companies like Kodak have developed over the last 100+ years. With the IMSI initiative, we hope to determine where new concepts intersect with established capabilities and infrastructure, and then find opportunities where innovation can flourish through collaboration."
Other members of the Institute come from major areas of the innovation economy – sustainability, clean technology and energy efficiency/independence – and represent a broad spectrum of business, scientific and academic disciplines within the material sciences arena.
"The Institute is committed to providing the ideal learning environment for the future. We want to create a kind of giant water cooler to encourage discussions and collaboration at every level," Kruchten said.
As a first step, The Innovation and Material Sciences Institute will open the dialogue with a State of Innovation Summit at the George Eastman House in Rochester, NY, December 7th, 2010.
The panel discussion, entitled "Materials Science as a Key Enabler to Today's Innovation Economy," will address the key role the materials science sector as a key enabler in enhancing a climate of innovation in today's global marketplace.
NYS Assemblyman Joseph Morelle, D-Irondequoit, will serve as the moderator of this discussion because of his critical role in cultivating economic development opportunities within the Rochester community.
"Our area's legacy of economic success was created through the ingenuity of visionary leaders like George Eastman," said Assemblyman Morelle. "Our future depends on nurturing that same innovative spirit, which is why I have worked to forge public-private partnerships to encourage a new era of entrepreneurial investment and job growth."
With the Innovation and Material Sciences Institute, Kodak is once again leading the way, and I am honored to be a part of it."
"Once the discussion gets going, the multi-disciplinary expertise of the group will enable us to focus on developing pathways from innovative concepts to full commercialization," said IMSI board member Ron Valente. Valente is Vice President of Research and Development at Novomer, an Ithaca, New York-based company that has successfully converted carbon dioxide (CO2) into a variety of polymers. According to Valente, the commercialization pathway can be one of the most challenging aspects for a technology start-up company.
"We have really benefited from the type of joint approach that IMSI represents," he said. "After Novomer secured funding through a U.S. Department of Energy award, we needed help scaling up our efforts to create a family of plastics, polymers and other chemicals using industrial waste."
"By partnering with established companies such as Kodak, we were able to scale-up our new technology innovation with a much smaller degree of risk and investment," Valente said. "I think IMSI will provide many entrepreneurial ventures similar value by promoting and nurturing these types of partnership opportunities."
More details can be found at http://www.kodak.com/global/mul/corp/img/IMGIMSIInnovationEng.jhtml
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