Corning Incorporated invests in Versalume LLC to develop innovative optical fiber

corningCorning Incorporated is investing in Versalume LLC, a new company headquartered in California’s Silicon Valley. Versalume will focus on developing smart, integrated products and solutions based on Corning Fibrance Light-Diffusing Fiber. Fibrance is an innovative optical fiber created by Corning from a unique glass composition for maximum flexibility – it can be bent, curved and wrapped around almost anything, while maintaining bright, beautiful, and uniform light.

Versalume will lead all commercial development efforts for Fibrance, serve as its exclusive distributor, and also offer integrated technology solutions. Corning will leverage its long history and expertise in glass and materials science to manufacture Fibrance. Corning representatives also will serve on Versalume’s board of directors.

“Fibrance dramatically expands the toolbox for where and how light is delivered, and Versalume will make it easy for designers to capture its potential. We look forward to witnessing the creativity and impact of the developing Fibrance ecosystem,” said Paul Then, director of early stage business development at Corning. “Fibrance combines Corning’s strengths in glass, optical physics, and fiber manufacturing, but its benefits extend beyond Corning’s current market focus. Versalume will enable Fibrance technology to quickly get into the hands of designers and customers in applications that span the consumer, architectural, automotive, and medical industries seeking to solve difficult lighting challenges.”

Mario Paniccia, a Silicon Valley executive and entrepreneur, has been named Versalume’s chief executive officer. As Versalume’s founding leader, Paniccia brings his experience in the photonics and electronics industries, as well as his broad connections in Silicon Valley to Versalume. “I am excited for the opportunity to lead Versalume,” Paniccia said. “We are already creating products that use Fibrance Light-Diffusing Fiber and developing new commercial opportunities with some of the best industrial designers, innovators, and thought leaders in Silicon Valley and throughout the rest of the world.”

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