Photonics business roundup: May 2022

Sam Fried

Table of Contents Acquisitions Approvals, awards, and certifications Facility news Financial news and investments Milestones Partnerships People moves In May 2022, several positive business moves in the photonics industry were announced, particularly out of Europe. So, without further ado, let’s catch up on all that happened. Acquisitions ColdQuanta (Boulder, CO) […]

In May 2022, several positive business moves in the photonics industry were announced, particularly out of Europe. So, without further ado, let’s catch up on all that happened.

Acquisitions

ColdQuanta (Boulder, CO) has acquired Super.tech (Chicago, IL), a developer of quantum software application and platform development, and the beta launcher of Hilbert, a gate-based cold atom quantum computer. Super.tech’s full team of quantum information scientists and software developers, including CEO Pranav Gokhale and chief scientist Fred Chong, will join ColdQuanta and lead the company’s new Chicago office. The acquisition of Super.tech transforms ColdQuanta into a multi-platform, quantum hardware and software company.

Quantum computing software developer Quantum Computing (QCI; Leesburg, VA) has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire quantum photonics innovation company QPhoton (Kearny, NJ), which has developed a series of quantum photonic systems. The acquisition advances QCI into a full-spectrum quantum software and hardware company.

Computer vision components maker Basler (Ahrensburg, Germany) has reached an agreement on the acquisition of the distribution business of its longtime Italian sales partner Advanced Technologies (Trezzano sul Naviglio, Italy), a company that distributes image processing components and solutions for various industries. The company supports customers both in the pre-sales phase with tests and feasibility studies and in the after-sales phase with highly specialized customer care. With 22 employees, the Italian office will further strengthen the development of Basler’s sales activities in the Europe-Middle East-Africa (EMEA) region.

Approvals, awards, and certifications

Cell analysis solutions developer Cytek Biosciences (Fremont, CA) has received CE Mark approval for its series of single-color cFluor reagents and a 6-color TBNK kit under the European Union In Vitro Diagnostic Medical Devices Directive (IVDD) 98/79/EC. Other regions that accept the CE marking are also included in the certification. This achievement makes cFluor reagents available for clinical diagnostic use in hospitals, laboratories, and clinics across Europe.

Optical solutions provider Precision OT (Rochester, NY) has been recognized as one of the 2022 Best Companies to Work for in New York, awarded by Best Companies Group and in partnership with The New York State for Human Resource Management (NYS-SHRM) and BridgeTower Media/Rochester Business Journal. Precision OT was one of the 27 small employers to be honored and awarded as a best workplace in the state of New York.

Beam characterization and profiling solutions maker PRIMES (Pfungstadt, Germany) has won first place in the Innovation Award Laser Technology 2022 program on May 4th, a renowned prize awarded by the associations AKL Arbeitskreis Lasertechnik e.V. and European Laser Institute (ELI) at the AKL – International Laser Technology Congress every two years. The company won for its PRIMES ScanFieldMonitor (SFM), a system that enables the measurement of laser beam parameters during the movement of a scanned vector. The resulting laser-scanner-characterization provides all geometrical and laser related parameters relevant for remote applications. Additionally, beam position and movement of the laser-scanner-unit in its scanning field are determined in the same operation.

Meanwhile, Blackbird Robotersysteme (Garching, Germany) and SCANLAB (Puchheim, Germany) submitted a joint solution for the Innovation Award Laser Technology 2022, garnering third place for its innovative scan solution with integrated optical coherence tomography (OCT) process monitoring. The system’s ability to synchronize scanner and sensor data developed in-house enables automotive application use as well as in additive manufacturing.

The ISO International Automotive Task Force (IATF) has certified the design and manufacture of Viavi Solutions’ (Scottsdale, AZ) optical filters at its Suzhou, China, facility under IATF 16949:2016. This standard is one of the most widely used in the automotive industry and one of the most difficult for manufacturers to meet. The company has produced more than 200 million optical filters to date for mission-critical applications such as automotive LiDAR for crash avoidance. Tier 1 automotive suppliers use its thin-film-based light management technologies to maximize the performance of their sensing solutions.

Facility news

Detact Diagnostics (Groningen, Netherlands) which produces bacterial- and viral-detection solutions harnessing near-infrared light, will establish US headquarters and laboratories in Keene, NH. The expansion is in partnership with the Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship, which provides resources for entrepreneurs and companies in the state of NH’s rural Monadnock Region, and Keene State College, which will provide space for the company to create a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment or (CLIA)-certified laboratories as well as an expansive internship and employment program.

Laser beam scanning light engines developer OQmented (Itzehoe, Germany) has opened a new location in Jena, Germany. This step supports the company’s strategic decision to develop its solutions as complete systems with optics as an integral component. Jena has an international reputation for optics and photonics and is home to multinational corporations as well as startups, two universities, and 12 research institutes. The local research & development team will enhance the company’s products with additional expertise.

Advanced detector technology developer VIGO Photonics (Ożarów Mazowiecki, Poland) has opened its first US-based office in St. Petersburg, FL, headed by CEO Scott Riggi. The North American headquarters, VIGO Photonics USA, will serve as as the primary interface for customers in the US, Canada, and Mexico, and will have sales-, marketing-, and engineering-focused employees.

Financial news and investments

In the first quarter of 2022, integrated photonics technologies provider Jenoptik (Jena, Germany) was able to continue its good performance reported in fiscal year 2021, and increase revenue by 38.5% to 208.5 million euros (prior year: 150.6 million euros). Jenoptik Medical and the SwissOptic Group, the companies acquired in 2021, together contributed 33.0 million euros to revenue, enabling Jenoptik to achieve organic growth of 16.6%. Revenue increased in all regions. In Europe (including Germany), where the acquisitions had the greatest impact, it grew by 45.5%, while revenue in the key strategic regions of Asia/Pacific and the Americas grew by almost 30%. Overall, 76.4% of revenue was generated abroad, compared with 79.8% in the prior year.

PI (Physik Instrumente; Auburn, MA), a provider of motion control, automation, nanopositioning, and piezo technology solutions, is focusing on global growth markets such as semiconductors, photonics, industrial automation, and life sciences that all benefit from the company’s advanced technologies. The initiative includes investments of nearly $60 million, in several locations around the world, all geared to increase productivity, expand production capacities, and optimize the whole supply chain. As a rapidly effective measure, together with customers, the company is also developing long-term plans regarding specific delivery quantities and schedules.

Milestones

Precision Optics (Gardner, MA), which designs and manufactures advanced optical instruments for the medical and defense industries, announced that its newly acquired Lighthouse Imaging division has transferred into production a next-generation otoscope device. This product supports an advanced otoscopy procedure and system already being marketed by the company’s customer. Initial production units have been shipped against a $600,000 production order, which follows on from the product development order received by Lighthouse Imaging prior to being acquired by Precision Optics. The company anticipates shipping the remainder of this order over the next 9-12 months.

High-power laser diode maker Toptica eagleyard (Berlin, Germany) celebrated its 20th anniversary in business. eagleyard Photonics, which was acquired by Toptica Photonics in 2013, was founded in 2002 by Günther Tränkle, Götz Erbert, and Thomas Laurent of the Ferdinand-Braun-Institut (FBH) in Berlin.

Partnerships

Optical instrumentation distributor Axiom Optics (Somerville, MA) has entered a new partnership with UV lens maker CERCO (France), whose UV lenses are commonly used with image intensifiers and high-speed cameras for combustion research and plasma imaging applications. Axiom Optics will distribute the entire line of UV lenses, which are available in three different focal lengths: 28 mm f/3.5, 45 mm f/1.8, and 100 mm f/2.8.

In more news for Basler (Ahrensburg, Germany), the company made a participation offer to its long-time French distribution partner i2S for the distribution business with image processing components. In discussion between the two companies is Basler’s intent to purchase a 25.1% stake in the i2S distribution business; the joint venture would operate under the name Basler France. The proposed transaction should take effect on July 1, 2022, subject to the information and consultation of the i2S Social and Economic Committee (CSE). Then, the intent is Basler will acquire the remaining 74.9% stake on July 1, 2024. Xavier Datin, CEO of i2S, will become president of Basler France.

BeammWave (Lund, Sweden) has joined the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) to contribute its expertise in the millimeter-wave frequency range (FR2) for future releases of the global 3GPP standards. The company’s digital beamforming technology for FR2 can bring new perspectives to the standard and even further enhance and strengthen 5G as the innovation platform for the next decade, according to Stefan Svedberg, CEO of BeammWave.

Sivers Photonics (Glasgow, Scotland), a subsidiary of Sivers Semiconductors AB (Kista, Sweden), has signed a contract worth over $617,000 to deliver next-generation laser sources as part of a partnership agreement with a new customer. The collaboration will initially focus on the development and supply of customized lasers across a range of wavelengths, helping the customer to develop its future roadmap.

People moves

Marisa A. Edmund, chief sales and marketing officer and vice chairman of the board of Edmund Optics (Tucson, AZ), has established the Advancing Women in Optics Scholarship at the University of Arizona Wyant College of Optical Sciences. The goal of the scholarship is for applicants to show a passion in advancing women in the field of optical sciences and optical engineering and supporting diversity in STEM fields.

The Institute of Photonics (IoP) at the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, Scotland) has named Jennifer Hastie as its new director, succeeding Professor Keith Mathieson, Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging Technologies. Hastie previously served as IoP’s deputy director and has worked there since she joined as a PhD student in 2000; now, she will lead more than 30 staff and more than 40 PhD and EngD students. IoP research interests include lasers, micro-LEDs, quantum light sources, and optical circuits for use in quantum technology, health technology, neuroscience, computing, imaging, communications, and security.

Advanced design, packaging, and microelectronics assembly services provider Promex Industries (Santa Clara, CA) has appointed semiconductor industry veteran Chip Greely as the company’s new VP of engineering. In his new role, Greely will oversee the assembly process engineering organization at the company’s Santa Clara headquarters, and will focus on ensuring the company’s service offerings are aligned to customers’ dynamic, advanced manufacturing requirements.


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https://www.laserfocusworld.com/executive-forum/article/14277252/photonics-business-roundup-may-2022

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