Corvallis startup will open ‘smart windows’ factory in Salem, using technology developed at HP – OregonLive

Crown Electrokinetics engineer Alexander Laws at work at the company's labs in Corvallis. HP developed Crown's technology, then licensed it to the startup. Laws is one of several former HP employees who work at Crown.Crown Electrokinetics photo
A Corvallis startup plans to hire 20 people to staff a new factory in Salem, where it will manufacture “smart windows” based on technology originally developed in HP Inc.’s labs.
Five-year-old Crown Electrokinetics applies a film to glass windows to darken them, or change their color, to adjust interior lighting or conserve energy. The solar-powered window technology can adjust automatically or be controlled wirelessly by building managers.
Crown is pitching its technology to commercial building managers and has a deal to supply windows to a Houston office building this year. The company is licensing its technology from HP, which has advanced research labs in Corvallis and Vancouver.
The new Salem factory, in a 27,000-square-foot space, will cut and assemble window inserts and apply electrokinetic film made at Crown’s facility in Corvallis.
Crown already employs 31, two-thirds of them in Oregon, including several former HP employees. The company’s Corvallis headquarters is in the Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Institute building at Oregon State University.
Crown began trading shares of its stock publicly in 2020 rather than pursuing investment from venture capitalists. The company is now listed on the Nasdaq exchange. That’s an unusual route for a startup with minimal revenue, because being public brings significant regulatory expenses and investor pressures.
The company reported no revenue in its last fiscal year, which ended March 31, and an operating loss of $19.4 million. Crown’s backers include Hudson Pacific Properties, which plans to use the Oregon company’s technology in some of its buildings.
Crown’s stock trades around $2.50 a share, giving the company a market value of about $35 million.
— Mike Rogoway | [email protected] | 503-294-7699| Twitter: @rogoway |
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