NGLIA marks fifth anniversary as SSL industry force

The Next Generation Lighting Industry Alliance has played a key role in the continued development of the solid-state lighting industry in the United States.

This year, 2010, marks the fifth anniversary of the Next Generation Lighting Industry Alliance (NGLIA) in the United States. Since its creation in 2005, the NGLIA has served as the formal industry advisor and partner for the Solid State Lighting Initiative of the US Department of Energy (DOE).

The Alliance membership, now at 17 companies, continues to grow as does the organization’s activities. Bayer Material Science, the newest member, joined in October 2010. Bayer’s addition deepens the breadth of the Alliance membership, which touches all of the aspects of LED and OLED lighting. This extends from the basic science and innovation happening in high-technology materials, up through and including LED chip and package design, driver technology, component integration, industry standards development, and lamp and luminaire design, manufacturing and marketing.

“We are fortunate to have some of the most active global SSL companies heavily involved in the Alliance,” noted NGLIA Chair Keith Cook, Vice President for Technology Policy and Standards at Philips Electronics North America. “The DOE SSL program includes R&D in core technologies, product development and manufacturing as well as technology demonstration, market conditioning and commercialization activities – and Alliance members are industry leaders in each of those areas.”

Earlier this year, DOE and NGLIA agreed on a two-year extension to their collaboration agreement. The memorandum document was also updated to reflect the evolved nature of the DOE effort, which, as noted above, presents an intricate mosaic of initiatives.

“We at DOE are very pleased to continue our work with the Alliance as the LED and OLED landscapes get more and more exciting,” said James Brodrick, SSL program manager at DOE. “We keep in regular contact so that, through our joint efforts, the US steers the right course in these critical technologies.”

“Our collaboration is really a model for industry-government partnerships in other emerging energy-technology areas,” Cook added.

Product integrity is a key aspect of consumer acceptance of LEDs and thus is a critical component of the entire DOE effort. Not surprisingly, Alliance members are active participants in the DOE Reliability and Lifetime Working Group and in the ongoing work on an LED lifetime estimation test method under the auspices of the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES). NGLIA is also represented on the Advisory Committee for CALiPER, DOE’s testing initiative for LED products.

NGLIA and its members were key stakeholders and advisors to DOE as it created the Energy Star qualification programs for SSL fixtures and LED replacement lamps.

Policy and manufacturing support

The Alliance is also active on the policy side in the US, visiting Capitol Hill to demonstrate SSL technology and to make the case to the funding committees in Congress to sustain and, if possible, increase support for DOE SSL R&D programs. A key aspect of this effort is increasing DOE support for R&D into manufacturing technology and processes to bring down costs and retain a SSL manufacturing base in the US

“Congress first included funding for manufacturing R&D as part of February 2009 economic stimulus legislation,” said Cook. “This effort should be leveraged and continued in the pending and future funding allocations.”

In recent years, the Alliance has increased its support for DOE’s series of workshops on R&D, product development, and manufacturing. These workshops are widely attended and provide important input to DOE as it develops roadmaps and funding priorities in each of those areas. Alliance member companies are frequently invited to participate in workshop panels.

In 2009, NGLIA extended its reach by providing sponsorship support to the DOE Solar Decathlon, a prominent biannual solar-home design competition for university teams that is held on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Several Alliance members also provided LED product support to individual teams, since reducing home electricity consumption is a part of making renewable generation of electricity more viable.

The Alliance is scheduled to hold a membership meeting in San Diego, CA, in early February, just prior to the opening of DOE’s eighth annual SSL R&D Workshop.

Membership

A full listing of NGLIA member companies and other materials are available at the organization’s website.

According to the NGLIA secretariat, membership in the Alliance is open to any private, for-profit firm substantially active in SSL research, development, infrastructure, and manufacturing in the US and that is prepared to contribute to the Alliance’s activities and resources.

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