CORNING, N.Y. — Being called “disruptive” is a good thing for Harrodsburg’s Corning plant.
The company says great innovators are willing to challenge traditional thought. They take chances. They try new methods. They invent industries out of nothing.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology named Corning to its 2013 list of 50 disruptive innovators for its creation of uber-slim, flexible Corning Willow Glass, which has dazzled investors and prospective customers for much of the past year.
Willow Glass is being developed at Corning’s facility in Harrodsburg, the company said in a press release announcing the designation.
It is the fourth time in recent months that Corning has been recognized by industry-watchers for its innovation. The March issue of Fast Company named Corning 36th on its list of innovative companies.
Corning also received the American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ fifth annual Corporate Innovation Award in November and the FLEXI R&D Award in early February for its work with Willow Glass.
“Disruptive” might sound like an odd designation for a Fortune 500 company, but it fits right in with an ever-changing tech industry. Writers for the MIT Tech Review identified disruptive companies as those producing breakthrough products or technologies that change the path of an industry.
Other groundbreaking companies on the list include Apple, Amazon, Google and IBM.
“It is an honor to be recognized as ‘innovative’ and ‘disruptive’ because it is truly what we do at Corning,” David L. Morse, executive vice president and chief technology officer, said.
“For more than 160 years, we have pushed the limits of what glass can do.”
Corning launched Willow Glass last June and believes the glass — about the thickness of a piece of paper — could revolutionize the shape and form of next-generation consumer electronic technologies.
Also, Willow Glass has the unique ability to be placed on spools and used in roll-to-roll manufacturing, similar to how newsprint is produced, which could greatly speed up a production process and reduce costs.
Morse said Willow Glass is just the latest example of Corning being disruptive, and certainly not the last.
“Our global team of expert scientists and researchers are hard at work exploring even more new technical glasses,” Morse said.
“We appreciate all of these awards; they motivate us to continue to innovate, disrupt and create.”