Spire Celebrates 35th Anniversary

Spire Corporation recently celebrated the 35th Anniversary of its founding in a modest lab in Boxborough, Massachusetts in 1969 with a single employee and a single contract to simulate the physical effects of radiation in space on aerospace materials.

Bedford, Massachusetts – March 22, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] In the mid-1970s, Spire outgrew its Boxborough lab moving successively to Bedford and Burlington before returning to Bedford at One Patriots Park. Today, Spire employs 110 principally in its Bedford headquarters, its semiconductor foundry in Hudson, New Hampshire and its solar systems business in Chicago, Illinois and, at recent share prices has reached a market value of approximately US$40 million. “The year 2004 marks Spire’s 35th anniversary, a tribute to our perseverance and adaptability to market shifts and technology change,” said Roger G. Little, President and CEO of Spire. “While the path of technology commercialization has rarely been smooth, Spire has accomplished much.” Little cited the company’s innovations in developing semi-automated solar module assembly equipment that he says have changed the business model of the worldwide photovoltaic industry to one of distributed manufacturing. We have installed 150 solar factories in 42 countries enabling the development of what is estimated to be a $4 billion industry worldwide. In thin film and surface engineering, Spire innovations have included the production of the first commercial metal organic chemical vapor deposition, or MOCVD, reactors for processing optoelectronic semiconductor wafers – a critical enabling technology to the low-cost semiconductor lasers and detectors that have made fiber optic telecommunications feasible. Again applying thin film and surface engineering expertise, Spire brought ion-beam techniques to medical materials processing in applications, such as improved orthopedic implants that have improved the quality of life for many.” From its beginnings in contract research and development, Spire has grown along five additional commercial pathways so that today Spire provides: – Medical Products – principally hemodialysis catheters; – Biomedical Processing Services for treating orthopedic and other implantable devices; – Compound Semiconductor Services for biomedical, telecommunications and other applications; – Solar Equipment for manufacturing photovoltaic modules; – Solar Energy Systems to provide point-of-use electricity; and – Contract Research and Development to provide advanced technological solutions to government. “With our proven ability to shape emerging technologies into commercial applications, Spire is confident of its future,” concluded Roger G. Little.
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