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Kodak, the 131-year-old photography pioneer, filed for bankruptcy on January 19th 2012.Eastman Kodak announced early this morning that filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy was “the right thing to do for the future” of the company.In a statement, Kodak CEO Antonio Perez said company leadership decided the move was “a necessary step.”Innovation Trail has followed the story over the course of 2012.

Kodak announces partnership between EBP and Oak Ridge Labs

Veronica Volk/WXXI News

Kodak is not selling Eastman Business Park. In fact, Wednesday they announced a partnership they hope will help draw more emerging businesses there.

The company put the park up for sale in March of last year, saying it didn't fit into their business strategy. Chief Financial Officer John McMullen says the decision to keep the park came after the company was reorganized into a divisional structure.

"Really the best opportunity for Kodak, the best opportunity for Rochester, and the region was to really take this asset and move forward with it, invest in it, partner for it, do the things that we know we can do here in the park."

Their partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory is intended to provide support and resources with new and growing companies, particularly in the clean energy sector. Oak Ridge is a science and technology laboratory for the US Department of Energy.

One focus of their efforts will be make more efficient and competitive roll-to-roll manufacturing. Director of Eastman Business Park Mike Ault says Kodak has a strong background in the process, which makes it easier to mass-produce electronics.

"George Eastman didn't invent photography, he figured out how to do that in a roll-to-roll fashion -- slashing costs, improving quality, and making it available to the general mass."

This partnership is expected to create new, high skilled jobs in the area by fostering new businesses and attracting more established ones. Officials also say they expect to see more manufacturing jobs created in the long term, as more companies get their finished products to market.

Veronica Volk is a Reporter/Producer for WXXI News. She comes from WFUV Public Radio, where she began her broadcasting career as a reporter covering the Bronx, and the greater New York City area. She later became the Senior Producer of WFUV’s weekly public affairs show, Cityscape. Originally from Ocean County, New Jersey, Veronica got her B.A. in Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University, concentrating on Media, Culture, and Society.
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