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$4M grant to Plainview lighting company will add jobs

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded a $4-million matching grant to Plainview-based Veeco Instruments Inc. for research and development of high-efficiency LED lighting, the company said.

The grants will help the company add jobs at its Plainview and New Jersey facilities, Veeco chief executive John Peeler said in a statement.

The federal funding is intended to improve design and manufacturing techniques, reducing production costs and making energy-efficient consumer light-emitting diode (LED) products less expensive.

The technology has the potential to be 10 times more energy-efficient than traditional incandescent light bulbs, the company said.

"This is good news. . . . In a few years, LED lighting will be everywhere," Peeler said. "Veeco is very excited to have been granted this important DOE funding, which will enable us to speed up development of our next generation" of lighting systems.

Veeco, whose equipment is used by solar, LED and data-storage manufacturers, disclosed the funding in a statement last week. It employs more than 350 people in New York and New Jersey.

The federal funding was authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in support of the manufacture of solid-state lighting projects based on LEDs and organic LEDs.

The company statement said Veeco's proposal was focused on driving down the cost of high-brightness LEDs by advancing its metal organic chemical vapor deposition technology, a process in the critical enabling technology for the production of LEDs. Veeco will partner with Sandia National Laboratories of New Mexico on this project.

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