Funai Lexington Technology Expands Lexington, Kentucky, Operations
The company will invest in equipment that will strengthen the research and development of heater chips, upgrade semiconductor processing equipment and increase the overall production volume to meet the demanding quality and precision requirements for these applications.
“This investment in Funai Lexington’s MEMS processing capability and the expansion of our workforce is absolutely critical, not only to maintain the success of our products currently in the market, but also to enable rapid development of new products as we adapt our unique microfluidic technology to new applications,” said Mike Marra, FLTC’s chief technology officer.
One of the main upgrades will take place with the company’s Micro Electro Mechanical System (MEMS), which allows for the development of precise liquid handling devices for a wide range of applications. Upgrades to the system’s equipment will improve the quality and accuracy of the process.
“Expanding the technology sector throughout the state is going to better position Kentucky for a dynamic economy and workforce in the future,” Governor Andy Beshear said. “We have the resources, the location and the companies to make the commonwealth a major player in today’s economy, and that momentum is only growing. I want to thank Funai Lexington Technology Corp.’s leadership for their continued commitment to Kentucky and I am thrilled to see their future success in Lexington.”
To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in December preliminarily approved FLTC for up to $200,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing. By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the company can be eligible to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates. The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments.
In addition, FLTC can receive resources from Kentucky’s workforce service providers. Those include no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job-training incentives.
“The Commerce Lexington economic development team enjoyed working with Funai in 2013 to help find a home for their R&D facility in Lexington, and it’s been wonderful to see the transformation of the company since that time,” added Bob Quick, President and CEO of Commerce Lexington Inc.. “Today, Funai Lexington Technology Corp. has grown to 47 full-time employees with plans to increase that number over the next year. The additional capital investment and jobs will not only help the company expand its capability, but also demonstrates Funai’s confidence in Lexington as a great place to do business. Foreign direct investment is an important component of our economic development efforts, and we appreciate Funai’s continued commitment to our community.”
In 2013, Osaka, Japan-based Funai Electric Co. LTD purchased Lexmark International Inc.’s inkjet technology and the following year established FLTC as a wholly owned subsidiary for the purpose of inkjet and microfluidic technology research. Since 2014, FLTC has generated 170 U.S. patent filings and introduced 15 new products in the commercial and industrial printing markets, as well as cosmetic and fragrance delivery for consumers. The company’s current research applies microfluidic technology to the life science market of drug delivery, discovery and diagnostic applications. FLTC currently employs 45 full-time Kentucky residents and two remote employees.
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