Apple has found its first target for a new fund aimed at improving advanced manufacturing around the world.
The iPhone maker announced on Friday that it will invest $200 million from its Advanced Manufacturing Fund into Corning’s research-and-development, capital equipment, and glass processing efforts. The majority of the funds will go to Corning’s Harrodsburg, Ky. facility, where much of the company’s glass processing is done.
Apple (AAPL) announced the Advanced Manufacturing Fund last week alongside its fiscal second quarter earnings. Apple said that it would put $1 billion into the fund, and use that cash to fund a variety of manufacturing activities. The company also anticipates using some of the fund’s assets to boost the number of highly skilled jobs that will be required in an advanced manufacturing setting.
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Corning has in the last decade become a prominent figure in the ever-growing smartphone industry. The company’s Gorilla Glass technology, which was unveiled in 2007, is designed to bolster the strength of regular glass, reducing chances of damage to smartphone, tablet, and smartwatch screens. Corning has released new Gorilla Glass iterations over the years that enhance its strength. Several prominent companies, including Apple, use Corning’s technology.
Apple noted in its statement on Friday that it’s been a longstanding Corning partner. The companies first collaborated on glass in 2007. Since then, Apple has relied upon Corning’s glass in all of its iPhones and iPads.
It’s unclear from the statement exactly what Corning (GLW) will use the investment on, and what Apple stands to gain in the process. However, Apple noted that the Corning investment will be the “focus” of its fund. Corning chairman and CEO Wendell Weeks said in a statement that the investment will be used in part to enhance the Harrodsburg glass facility.