Cree Receives $2.3M Grant for LED Lighting Progress

Cree has received a matching $2.3 million U.S. Department of Energy grant to advance its research and development of light-emitting diode, or LED, lighting products.

The agency said the $10.1 million in competitive, matching grants to five companies are for two-year projects that "will focus on achieving significant cost reductions while maintaining quality by improving manufacturing equipment, processes, or monitoring techniques."

Greg Merritt, vice president for marketing with Durham, N.C.-based Cree, said Wednesday the company has been working with the DOE "really, since the beginning of Cree," on research and development of LED lighting. This grant continues that relationship while reducing Cree’s risk, "or our portion of the bed," he remarked.

The grant will help fund continuing research and development in several places, Merritt said, including at Cree subsidiary Ruud Lighting, 9201 Washington Ave. He said whether the grant leads to new employment depends on the extent to which Cree and Ruud can

achieve the grant’s goals: increasing the efficiency and reducing the costs of manufacturing and selling LEDs to boost their popularity.

Merritt noted Cree is a highly vertically integrated company. Therefore it will be continuing research and development of "all the elements of the system, to incorporate LED lighting in many types of light fixtures."

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