Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm promoted the job-creating role alternative energy companies can play by touring Altair Engineering, Inc. and its recent spin-off, LED lighting company ilumisys. She then chaired a roundtable discussion with invited representatives from other companies exploring alternative energy technologies.
"We're honored to be selected as the host company for Governor Granholm's alternative energy roundtable, said James Scapa, president and CEO, Altair Engineering, Inc. "As a Michigan-based company committed to helping grow our state economy, we are planning to accelerate our work along a number of fronts to develop alternative energy sources. The governor's leadership in helping make our state a center for alternative energy research, development and commercialization is an important step toward enabling a thriving and healthy business environment."
Of particular interest to Governor Granholm were demonstrations of ilumisys Inc.'s first solid state lighting products: LED-driven, direct replacements for standard T-8 and T-12 fluorescent tubes.
This next generation solid state lighting offers ballast-independent operation and takes full advantage of attributes of light emitting diodes including long life, temperature robustness, vibration tolerance and energy efficiency. Unlike the fluorescent tubes they replace, they are mercury-free. 500 to 600 million fluorescent tubes are junked annually in the U.S., introducing a significant amount of mercury to the environment, despite industry and government efforts to limit mercury content and encourage recycling.
"With our manufacturers being hit hard by the forces of globalization, we need to focus on industries with growing demand, like alternative energy," Gov. Granholm said. "Companies like Altair Engineering and its new spinoff, ilumisys are already working to make their processes more competitive while creating additional jobs through alternative energy development. This industry has limitless potential. We are going make sure that Michigan is the hub for that future growth and job creation."
After escorting the Governor through ilumisys' new solid state lighting R&D laboratory, Dave Simon, president of ilumisys, Inc. noted, "It was exciting to show Governor Granholm how some of our patents are resulting in new development of LED lighting technology. Solid-state lighting is playing an increasingly-important role in reducing national energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The governor's support and encouragement for attracting investment and complementary companies to Michigan will help the state capitalize on the opportunity to become a real leader in this fast-growing field."
Governor presents ilumisys with achievement award
In a related development, Thursday evening (December 6) in the capitol rotunda, Governor Granholm presented ilumisys' president Dave Simon and vice president of technology Jack Ivey with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation's first award for outstanding diversification achievement in alternative energy companies. ilumisys was selected as the small business winner from three finalists in its category. The awards recognize companies that have made significant contributions to diversifying the economy of the state during the past year.
"We are very pleased to be recognized as a company helping to diversify our state's economy," said Mr. Simon. "This award recognizes ilumisys' position on the leading-edge of the rapidly emerging solid-state lighting market and its promise of energy use reduction."