FORD, NEXTENERGY ANNOUNCE AUTOMOTIVE LIGHTING CHALLENGE TO ACCELERATE DEVELOPMENT OF LED TECHNOLOGY

October 14, 2014 by Ford

◾The Ford Motor Company, NextEnergy-led automotive lighting challenge aims to inspire industry suppliers to create advanced new automotive lighting products

◾Ford's collaboration with NextEnergy affirms the automaker's intention to lead the industry with solid-state/LED lighting

◾Initiative will help strengthen the advanced automotive lighting supply base and accelerate innovation

DEARBORN, Mich., Oct. 14, 2014 – Ford Motor Company and NextEnergy, one of the nation's leading accelerators of advanced energy technologies, have teamed up on a technology innovation challenge for industry suppliers to help advance state-of-the-art automotive lighting.

The initiative was announced today at a lighting exposition held at Ford's Product Development Center, where 30 suppliers and would-be suppliers convened to address the challenges and opportunities presented by the rapidly changing world of lighting technology.

Some of the lighting innovation challenges Ford and NextEnergy will ask participants to address include:

◾Featherweight challenge: Develop lighting products that create the greatest amount of light (in lumens) with the lowest weight

◾Design for manufacturing challenge: Conceive ways to make existing advanced lighting technology cost-effective and suitable for high-volume production

◾Daylighting LEDs: Create interior ceiling LED (light-emitting diode) lights that emulate daylight
◾Structural lighting: Integrate LEDs and OLEDs (organic light-emitting diode) into interior and exterior structural components, such as seats and door panels

◾Lifecycle challenge: Foster the design of recyclable lighting technology, including biodegradable lighting


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    The challenge will launch Nov. 19 at the Michigan Advanced Lighting Conference in Lansing. The program is supported by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation's Pure Michigan Business Connect initiative to help identify qualified Michigan suppliers.

    Ford and Detroit-based NextEnergy will outline a scoring matrix to determine winners. Late next year, competing teams will present their ideas to a panel of Ford and NextEnergy experts, with one or more prizes awarded.

    The prizes, provided by the state of Michigan through Michigan Economic Development Corporation and NextEnergy, will include up to $40,000.

    'Ford is very interested in maintaining leadership with the use of innovative lighting for the benefit of our customers,' said Dean Stevenson, chief engineer, Ford Global Design Engineering.

    Wayne Bahr, chief engineer, Ford Global Body Exterior Systems, said the challenge 'should help us innovate faster and increase the capability of our lighting supply base.'

    Ford is particularly interested in maintaining its leadership in lighting innovation. The 2015 Ford F-150 has LED headlights, side view mirror lights and cargo bed lights. The 2010 Ford Mustang used a full complement of LED lighting, including brake lights, turn signals and taillights.

    'NextEnergy's collaboration with Ford will encourage open innovation,' said Jean Redfield, president and CEO, NextEnergy. 'While this technology challenge will solicit global solutions, we expect Michigan's advanced lighting industry to be among the solution providers, driving significant economic activity in the state.'

    About Ford Motor Company

    Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 186,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit corporate.ford.com.

    About NextEnergy

    Founded in 2002 as 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, NextEnergy is one of the nation's leading accelerators of advanced energy technologies, businesses and industries. NextEnergy drives technology demonstration and commercialization; delivers industry and venture development services; and provides an authoritative voice in the public sector. Since its inception, NextEnergy has helped attract more than $1.4 billion of new investment in the state of Michigan, including programs in excess of $160 million in which NextEnergy has directly participated. For more information, visit http://www.nextenergy.org.

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