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Success Stories of PRISM Company Members

There have been many successful collaborations between New Jersey companies and PRISM dating back to 1992. All of these tend to follow a common theme. They start out with innovative technical ideas, common technical interests with PRISM faculty, and a desire to develop exciting new products. The key to their success has always been, however, the commitment to developing strong, lasting relationships between company engineers and scientists with PRISM faculty and students. As you will see in the cases provided below, both parties committed valuable resources to winning contracts, developing technologies and delivering on their promises. In many cases graduate students who work on joint projects end up working for the company members upon completion of their degrees.  

We like to think of the collaboration as a two way street. Both PRISM and company affiliate must commit material and human resources for the relationship to be successful. All critical intellectual property is safely guarded, but good general lab practices and techniques are openly shared and developed for everyone’s best interests. Shared responsibilities and common goals have led to much success here at PRISM.

Case #1

Sensors Unlimited joined PRISM (then called POEM) in 1992.    They placed a full time Engineer at the University to help build and run the MicroFabrication Facility with PRISM faculty, staff and students. With the help of PRISM, Sensors won several SBIR contracts to make prototype InGaAs devices used for a wide range of applications from infrared imaging to medical spectroscopy to advanced Integrated Photonic Devices. The work on these programs was shared by PRISM faculty and Sensors employees alike. Over the course of several years, Sensors Unlimited developed a range of products using the technology that PRISM helped to develop including NIR cameras and Wavelength Division Multiplexing fiber optic components. Some of the students working on these programs eventually became prominent employees at Sensors unlimited. In 2000, the small startup company sold to a large Telecom firm for over $500M. Sensors Unlimited exists today as part of Goodrich Corporation in Princeton and they are still a member of PRISM working on developing next generation IR Imaging devices.

Case #2

Universal Display Corporation (UDC) started in 1994 and partnered with PRISM along with other Universities such as USC and University of Michigan to research and develop Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) technologies. Today UDC, a publically traded company (PANL) is the largest pure-play OLED Company in the world, selling OLED materials and licensing technology from its expansive portfolio of 850 world-wide patents. OLED technology is used in a wide variety of flat panel displays including multi-color flexible displays, extremely thin and energy efficient displays for hand set devices, and much more. New developments are leading to high-quality white lighting sources that are 10 times more efficient than standard incandescent lighting. UDC has a complete research facility in Ewing, NJ, and still maintains a valuable partnership with PRISM.