BOISE — Micron Technology announced Thursday it will get $5 million from the federal stimulus package to advance a program to produce LED lighting technology.

The manufacturing will take place in Boise, Micron Vice President of Process Research and Development Scott DeBoer said. No timeline or number of people to be hired has been determined for the project.

"We're cautious about throwing out exact timelines about when we're going to be hiring more people," DeBoer said.

LED manufacturing will grow to a $12 billion industry by 2012, DeBoer said.

About 30 people now work on the project for Micron. The announcement came during Gov. Butch Otter's Innovation Summit at the Stuekle Sky Center at Boise State University.

"Part of the stimulus package gave us the opportunity to say, 'Where is it we can make the biggest impact, the quickest impact? '" Otter said. "Obviously we focused on energy."

DeBoer admitted LED manufacturing will involve difficult global competition.

"(But) we believe the timing is quite good," DeBoer said. "We believe there is significant room for innovation to make this the lighting solution for the future."

The stimulus funds came through the Idaho Office of Energy Resources. LED technology uses approximately one-seventh of the electricity of today's standard lighting sources.

This particular stimulus funding provides additional financial support to the significant capital and assets Micron has also committed to the project, according to the company.

"The stimulus support announced today together with the significant research and development investments Micron is making toward this project further the possibility that this effort could help Idaho grow as a leader in energy-efficient LED technology," DeBoer said in a statement.


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