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Kodak's IMSI to Partner with Innovation Accelerator

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Press release from the issuing company

Innovation Accelerator to invest in IMSI growth and commercialization model at Eastman Business Park – another major step toward the Park's revitalization

ROCHESTER, N.Y., - Eastman Kodak Company and Innovation Accelerator, a national public-private entity, today announced an agreement under which Innovation Accelerator will step into an active leadership role of the Innovation and Materials Science Institute (IMSI), Kodak's technology accelerator established to help move early- to middle-stage companies from innovation to commercialization.

"The Institute was founded to take intellectual property from prototyping and proof of concept into commercialization, thereby substantially reducing the time and expense it takes technology innovators to become self-sustaining, to create jobs and turn a profit," said Brad Kruchten, President of Kodak's Graphics, Entertainment and Commercial Films group and a founding board member of IMSI.

"Moving IMSI into a tightly-aligned relationship with the Innovation Accelerator is a great step forward, and we're thrilled to work in partnership with an organization that has common goals, a national reach and a strong track record of success," Kruchten added.

Innovation Accelerator's vision is to drive America's competitive advantage in the global marketplace by promoting innovation as an economic growth engine. John Pyrovolakis, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Innovation Accelerator, said that he and his team work with hundreds of entrepreneurial start-up companies across the country, and many could benefit from the infrastructure IMSI provides.

"Our nation remains the global innovation leader in areas of Kodak's historical strength: materials and chemicals. But our innovations in these areas are increasingly being manufactured – and monetized – abroad," Pyrovolakis said. "This 'invented here, built there' problem poses a threat to our nation's economic well-being. It is our hope that collaboration with Kodak's Innovation and Materials Science Institute can buck this trend, to the great benefit of both our nation and Eastman Business Park.

"Our work today – bringing highly innovative small and middle-stage companies from all over the nation to the Park – is a first step in this direction. It is a first step in the direction of restoring our nation's global manufacturing and innovation dominance, leveraging the Park and its unique assets and infrastructure as an iconic symbol of this dominance," Pyrovolakis added.

"In addition, we now have access to people with the experience and know-how to operate these machines and manufacture next generation thin film and coatings products for a multitude of applications," Pyrovolakis said. "These physical and knowledge assets are a tremendous and ready resource to the kind of companies with whom we work."

IMSI will emerge as a not-for-profit entity, and along with Innovation Accelerator, will continue with a significant presence at Eastman Business Park, where Pyrovolakis said he expects to see strong future growth – both in the number of companies operating there and the number of advanced manufacturing jobs created.

On a broader scale, Pyrovolakis said the model established in Rochester will take on national relevance as "we begin to identify assets in other locales which are similar to those available at Eastman Business Park, and use the IMSI accelerator model to create similar manufacturing partnerships."


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