The news was made public on August 29 in a release from LeMond Composites. The company, founded earlier this year by three-time Tour de France champion Greg LeMond, focuses on making carbon fiber composites with global applications. The agreement with ORNL will make LeMond Composites the first company to offer these newly developed products to the transportation, renewable energy and infrastructure markets.
LeMond Composites plans to build their first carbon fiber production line at their recently purchased facility on Palladium Way in Oak Ridge. Their first commercially available product is expected to be ready in early 2018.
“I am ecstatic about this unique technological application for carbon fiber in our community,” Oak Ridge Mayor Warren Gooch said. “We look forward to working with LeMond Composites to create jobs and further investment in Oak Ridge.”
“The City of Oak Ridge is proud to see the new, low-cost carbon fiber technology by ORNL be recognized and incorporated into products developed by LeMond Composites,” Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson said. “We welcome LeMond to our community and are pleased they will be partnering with leading scientists bringing this next generation technology to the marketplace. We are excited about their new carbon fiber products, including bicycles, which will be available in the United States and around the world.”
“ORNL has been the driving force for new company locations in our area for some time,” President of the Roane Alliance Wade Creswell said. “We are incredibly fortunate and thankful that ORNL has licensed this new technology and is transferring it to the private sector. Having LeMond Composites locate in Roane County and Oak Ridge is an incredible opportunity to bolster our local economy through good paying jobs. We are excited to work with Connie Jackson, a Roane County native, to help make LeMond Composites the leader in the world of carbon fiber production.”
"These are exciting times for Oak Ridge and the surrounding area and LeMond Composites exemplifies the kind of cutting edge industries we're working with,” added Steve Jones, Economic Development Consultant for the City of Oak Ridge. “Mr. LeMond is putting together a great team, and I think we're only seeing the tip of the iceberg with regard to the potential impact to our local economy and our standing in the growing advanced composites sector. LeMond Composites was being recruited by other parts of the country and I'm pleased they made the decision to come here. Many folks made this possible and I'm very grateful for all their efforts.”
Connie Jackson and a team of researchers at ORNL’s Carbon Fiber Technology Facility helped invent a new process that reduces the production cost of industrial grade carbon fiber by more than half. Jackson and several others joined LeMond Composites this year.