Konarka, which was developing solar cells made from plastic, raised $170 million from private investors including Chevron; secured millions in grants, tax credits, and loans from Republican and Democratic administrations in Massachusetts and Washington; bought an old Polaroid plant in New Bedford to make its “Power Plastic”; hired and then laid off 100 employees; and filed for bankruptcy in early June. Konarka was the kind of company that fit perfectly into this region’s R&D sweet spot.
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