New York Governor Eliot Spitzer helped lead the ceremonial groundbreaking, along with Corning leadership, employees and invited dignitaries.
The expansion plan at Corning's world-leading research center includes significant renovation of an existing research and development building and construction of a new facility. Results are expected to include increased operational efficiency, flexibility, space utilization and energy efficiency. All phases of this project are expected to be completed by 2013, with expenditures phased over the course of this six-year period.
Corning Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Wendell P. Weeks set the stage as he spoke to Corning's long history of successful innovation. Next year marks 100 years of dedicated research at Corning – an achievement that only five U.S. companies can claim. "Today's groundbreaking represents an important milestone in our continuing commitment to excellence in research and development, and to the southern tier of New York State," Weeks said.
Weeks traced Corning's history of research breakthroughs from developing the glass envelope to commercialize Thomas Edison's electric light bulb, to cathode ray tubes that enabled the growth of television, to today's newest game-changing technology, ultra-bendable fiber.
"Today's announcement demonstrates that great companies like Corning are investing in Upstate New York's innovation economy because they understand its potential," said Governor Spitzer. "These are the type of key projects that will continue to drive the revival of the Upstate economy and the Southern Tier."
Corning Chief Technology Officer Dr. Joseph A. Miller spoke of Corning as an organization that thrives on creating first-of-a-kind, life-changing innovations. He attributed Corning's ongoing success in research and development to a special recipe: a centralized and collaborative R&D environment, a vibrant innovation heritage, and a community of talented employees to whom Miller dedicated the event. "They are delivering the inventions and innovations that will not only grow Corning, but will contribute to the well-being of this region," Miller said.
Assistance for this expansion project has been offered by the Empire State Development Corporation, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, and the New York State Department of Transportation in the forms of: a $1.5 million capital grant; up to $1.5 million in project funding; and up to $750,000 in Industrial Access Program funding, respectively. The Industrial Access Program funding is to be applied for by the town or county.