Ceramic Industry News

Pilkington Acquires Smart Glass License from Research Frontiers (posted 9/22/09)

Pilkington Group Limited recently announced that it has acquired a new license from Research Frontiers Inc. to offer suspended particle device (SPD)-Smart automotive end-products globally. Research Frontiers is the developer and licensor of the patented VaryFast™ SPD-Smart™ light-control film technology.

This license represents a significant expansion of Pilkington’s SPD business. In 2004, Pilkington acquired a license from Research Frontiers to work with SPD technology to make laminated SPD-SmartGlass panels. During this development phase, Pilkington gained lamination expertise and also worked extensively with customers to co-develop SPD-Smart products that meet the needs and specifications of the automotive industry. With this new license, Pilkington now has the ability to offer SPD-Smart end-products, including sunroofs, glass roof panels, adaptive sunvisors incorporated into a vehicle’s windscreen, and side and rear windows.

The worldwide non-exclusive license grants Pilkington the right to manufacture and sell SPD-Smart automotive glass products globally. “Pilkington and their parent company, NSG Group, are among the most successful glass companies in the world, and have considerable experience in all types of high-end and functional glass products, including smart glass,” said Joseph M. Harary, president and CEO of Research Frontiers. “They have a long and stellar history of bringing new and practical innovations to the glass industry and to their customers. Research Frontiers has invested over $75 million to develop high-performance light control with our SPD-Smart film technology. With Pilkington’s addition to our extensive list of licensees around the world, Research Frontiers’ patented SPD-Smart light-control technology has now been licensed to virtually every major glass company in the world for the production of environmentally friendly end-products.”

According to Anthony R. Shaw, vice president of Technology–Automotive for Pilkington, “Our SPD teams in the UK, Germany, Japan and the U.S. have been working closely and intensely with Research Frontiers and our lead OEM customer to introduce SPD-Smart end-products to the global automotive market. SPD technology is a high-performing technology that offers many distinctive performance, safety, comfort and energy-saving benefits desired by OEMs and their customers. We see exciting opportunities ahead in the very near future.”

For additional information, visit www.pilkington.com or www.smartglass.com.

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