Kodak Partners with Consortium of Thought Leaders to Promote National Discussion on Innovation and Economic Growth
Innovation and Materials Science Institute to focus on stimulating cooperative ventures to leverage innovation as economic driver
ROCHESTER, N.Y., -- Eastman Kodak Company is increasing its focus on innovation with a new initiative designed to spark additional dialogue in an increasingly competitive materials sciences environment.
The company announced the formation of the Innovation and Materials Science 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.
The Institute will host its first initiative - a “State of Innovation Summit” entitled “Materials Science as a Key Enabler to Today’s Innovation Economy,” at the George Eastman House in Rochester, NY, December 7, 2010. Excerpts of the summit will be available online at http://www.kodak.com/global/mul/corp/img/IMGIMS.jhtml.
“Major breakthroughs and game-changing innovations are increasingly taking place at the intersections of materials science,” said Brad Kruchten, President, Film, Photofinishing & Entertainment Group, Senior Vice President, Eastman Kodak Company. “Many of the 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, science and academia within the materials science 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 discussion and collaboration at every level,” Kruchten said.
“Once the discussion gets going, the multi-disciplinary expertise of the group will 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, NY-based company that has successfully converted carbon dioxide into a variety of polymers.
The commercialization pathway can be very challenging for a technology start-up company, Valente said.
“We have really benefited from the type of joint approach that IMSI represents,” he said. “After Novomer secured funding through the U.S. Department of Energy, 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 like Kodak, we were able to scale-up our new technology innovation with a much smaller degree of risk and investment,” Valente said. “IMSI will provide value to many entrepreneurial ventures by promoting and nurturing partnership opportunities.”
As the world’s foremost imaging innovator, Kodak helps consumers, businesses, and creative professionals unleash the power of pictures and printing to enrich their lives. Visit http://www.kodak.com
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