Konarka Technologies announces relationship with Eastman Ventures


Lowell, MA, May 16, 2003– Konarka Technologies, Inc., a developer of polymer photovoltaic products that provide a source of renewable power in a variety of form factors for commercial, industrial, government and consumer applications, announced it has entered into a relationship with Eastman Ventures.

Eastman Ventures, the venture capital arm of Eastman Chemical Co., was formed to provide new avenues of growth and innovation for Eastman Chemical Company. The relationship is expected to enable Eastman Chemical Company to leverage Konarka’s technology to explore new markets such as photovoltaics.

“There is market interest in next-generation technologies for solar and alternative energy. We continue to identify companies whose interests and technical expertise complement Eastman’s,” said Dr. Greg O. Nelson, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Eastman Chemical Company. “Today, most of the photovoltaic manufacturing is based on batch production techniques. That’s good for some markets, but we believe the end-game is to replace batch manufacturing with lower cost continuous manufacturing techniques in order to open solar up to a host of new applications. As a result, we believe Konarka is uniquely positioned to enter new markets,” Nelson added.

“Eastman’s strength and technical capabilities in the polymer market greatly compliments Konarka’s ability to use advanced polymers to develop new applications with light-weight, flexible photovoltaics,” said Dr. Bill Beckenbaugh, President and Chief Executive Officer, Konarka Technologies, Inc. “Our relationship with Eastman will greatly enhance our ability to commercialize new technologies to transform our firm from a developer to a global manufacturer and provider of products,” Beckenbaugh added. Some of the markets Konarka will enter include on-board power for portable electronics, off-grid habitation, construction and government applications.

In a fraction of a day, the sun delivers enough energy to supply the world’s energy needs for a year. Unlike other photovoltaic technologies, Konarka’s converts sunlight as well as indoor, artificial light into direct current (DC) electrical energy. The company uses low temperature production methods to put the photovoltaic cells onto flexible, light-weight plastics, rather than on rigid, heavy glass.

About Eastman Chemical

With headquarters in Kingsport, Tenn., Eastman manufactures and markets chemicals, fibers and plastics worldwide. The company has approximately 15,800 employees in more than 30 countries and had 2002 sales of $5.3 billion. To learn more about Eastman and its products, visit www.eastman.com.

About Konarka Technologies, Inc.

Konarka Technologies, Inc. is a developer of polymer photovoltaic products that provide a source of renewable power in a variety of form factors for commercial, industrial, government and consumer applications. Konarka’s photovoltaic technology is focused on delivering lightweight, flexible, scalable and manufacturable products.

For more information, visit www.konarkatech.com or contact Joe Romano, Partner, HighGround, Inc. at 781-279-1320 x 208 or jromano@highgroundinc.com.

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