Dr. Caulfield, president and COO of Soraa, left, and Dr. Zheng Xu, CEO of Silevo look at the 3D model of the river bend project after the announcement today at Adam’s Mark Hotel today on Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013. (Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News)
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Soraa and Silevo

A quick look at the companies planning to invest $750 million apiece in the Buffalo High-Tech Manufacturing Innovation Hub @ RiverBend.


– Soraa develops and makes lighting systems based on an advance in LED technology that is said to make illumination systems brighter and more cost-effective.

– Its LED lighting was developed in house.

– Those three professors, Shuji Nakamura, Steven DenBaars and James Speck, founded Soraa in 2008 in Goleta, Calif.

– The company is now based in Fremont – Silicon Valley – and has about 250 employees, according to an interview printed in February in the Edison Report, a website about the lighting industry.

– Soraa, meaning sky in Japanese, had raised some $100 million to further its growth.

– The company has won nearly $8 million in contracts from the federal Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency Energy.


– Silevo, also based in Fremont, Calif., produces cheaper, higher-efficiency solar panels.

– It was founded in the summer of 2007 by a pair of executives from Applied Materials Inc., Zheng Xu and Jianming Fu.

– The company received $3 million from the U.S. Department of Energy in 2009 to further develop its proprietary solar cell technology called Triex.

– It claimed about 200 employees in the United States in 2012.

– Silevo has production facilities in Fremont but maintains a low-cost, high-volume factory in Hangzhou, China.

– Silevo announced in June that it was seeking to build a production plant in the United States to grab more market share domestically and avoid shipping costs and anti-dumping fees on products from China.

– Silevo, according to Bloomberg News, also was considering building a third plant in Europe or the Middle East.

– During a conference in June in Munich, Germany, the company announced the industry’s first greater-than-350 watt-peak solar module made with 72 of Silevo’s Triex 156 mm solar cells.

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