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Natcore Technology has officially opened the doors to its new US$1 million R&D centre at Kodak’s Eastman Business Park in Rochester, New York. Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, Director of the Eastman, Mike Alt and Chuck Provini, Natcore’s president and CEO cut the ribbon at a ceremony, which was attended by local community and political leaders.
Natcore asserts that the R&D centre will allow it to fast-track the development of applications based on its LPD technology, specifically in the arena of flexible solar cells. The pièce de résistance is the AR-Box, Natcore’s intelligent LPD processing station for growing AR coating on silicon wafers. The company notes that it will be the primary tool in the advancement and commercialization of its new technologies.
The new facility includes a laboratory/clean room, a gowning room, administration offices and a warehouse. Two former Kodak chemical engineering technicians are already working at the R&D centre and will soon be joined by two senior scientists who are moving from Natcore’s Ohio State facility. The company is conducting interviews for chemists, chemical and electrical engineers, materials scientists and technicians to bring it to a fully staffed position.
"We're still looking for a site and partners to develop and manufacture flexible solar cells and other applications," says Provini. "Eastman Business Park is being considered, as are overseas locations. Manufacturers from China, India and Italy sent delegations to visit us in February. Like Kodak, they all have extensive experience in manufacturing roll-to-roll photo film. The final decision in this case will rest on the availability of funding."