CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In a speech on March 16, 2015 noting the importance of federal funding for research, Senior Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin highlighted Dr. Siva Sivananthan’s contributions to American technological innovation.
Senator Durbin discussed Dr. Siva’s achievements and the impact of the technology he pioneered for night vision sensors that protect the U.S. military and solar cells that provide renewable energy. Senator Durbin also talked about Dr. Siva’s background as a Sri Lankan immigrant, exemplifying the valuable contributions of immigrant innovators.
“In addition to teaching and mentoring young scientists, Dr. Siva has founded and runs a number of companies that are working to commercialize his discoveries,” said Senator Durbin as he explained how Dr. Siva expanded his technology research and development as an entrepreneur, bridging the gap between academia and industry.
Sivananthan Laboratories, Inc. is the high-tech business incubator founded by Dr. Siva, which is focused on promoting economic growth in Illinois, the U.S. and worldwide through fostering cutting-edge, fundamental research and development. One of Dr. Siva’s companies, EPIR Technologies, Inc., provides advanced infrared materials and sensors for military and commercial applications. EPIR has successfully commercialized infrared material for high performance night vision cameras, and also low-cost sensors for commercial machine vision applications.
Raja Krishnamoorthi, President of Sivananthan Labs, said, “We are very proud that Senator Durbin has recognized our Chairman and Founder, Dr. Siva, for his outstanding contributions to America as this recognition is richly deserved.”
Dr. Siva’s work in creating photovoltaic technology for night vision sensors served as the platform for groundbreaking next generation solar cells, which he is commercializing through Episolar, Inc. In addition, he helped found InSPIRE (the Institute for Solar Photovoltaic Innovation, Research, and Edu-training), a non-profit organization whose mission is promoting research, development, workforce training and technology commercialization in the solar energy industry.
Referring to this non-profit, Senator Durbin said, “InSPIRE brings together physics students from UIC and veterans from the war in Iraq and Afghanistan to teach high school kids on the South Side about solar energy and how to make ultra light cell phone chargers.”
During his speech Senator Durbin also mentioned the White House “Champion of Change” award that Dr. Siva received in 2013. “That honor recognizes immigrant entrepreneurs from around the world who make America better, creating jobs and making our nation more competitive,” said Senator Durbin.