A Northwest Arkansas company is a new industry partner in a planned $140 million research and manufacturing institute.
Arkansas Power Electronics International Inc. will be one of 18 companies involved in the new Next Generation Power Electronics Innovation Institute based at North Carolina State University.
President Obama on Jan. 15 announced the establishment of the new institute. The institute is one of three new government-funded manufacturing facilities intended to grow domestic advanced manufacturing capabilities.
Arkansas Power Electronics International (APEI), which frequently collaborates with faculty at the University of Arkansas, specializes in advanced, high performance electronics for a variety of customers and applications, including the defense, aerospace and the hybrid/electric vehicle markets. The company, which has 46 employees, is headquartered at Fayetteville’s Arkansas Research and Technology Park, which is managed by the University of Arkansas Technology Development Foundation.
By joining the institute, APEI expects to grow its current manufacturing presence, create technical jobs in the next five years and bring international business to Northwest Arkansas, said Ty McNutt, APEI’s director of business development.
“As a worldwide leader in wide band-gap power electronics design, development, and manufacturing, APEI is very excited to be part of the North Carolina State University-led Next Generation Power Electronics Innovation Institute,” McNutt said. “This consortium will help grow the manufacturing lines more quickly than otherwise possible, enabling us to bring our technology to the global marketplace faster — at competitive price points — and to grow our technical workforce.”
The Next Generation insitute in North Carolina will draw upon the wide band-gap expertise of leaders in the field from the academic, government and industrial sectors. Partners in the initiative include five universities, two national research labs and 18 companies.
The institute aims to generate lower cost, more efficient energy solutions through the advancement of wide band-gap semiconductor technology. The institute is the first of three manufacturing centers that will be created under Obama’s $200 million National Network for Manufacturing Innovation.
As an institute partner, Arkansas Power Electronics International will serve as a medium- to low-volume, wide band-gap power module packaging foundry. The firm currently operates and maintains a wide band-gap power module and power discrete facility in Fayetteville that manufactures power systems for vehicles as well as spacecraft.
KFSM, a Northwest Arkansas television station, shared a story last week about APEI’s important role in the region’s future and how its new jobs will be part of larger regional job growth expected this year.
Arkansas Power Electronics International was founded in 1997.