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Fund Makes First Investment in Photonics Tech

BOSTON and MOSCOW, June 19, 2013 — A new venture capital fund has made its first round of investments in companies seeking to commercialize technology related to nanophotonics, metamaterials and quantum information processing.

Quantum Wave Fund (QWave), a global venture capital fund launched in December that focuses on physics and material sciences, announced Tuesday that it will invest a total of $7 million in Nano-Meta Technologies Inc. of Indiana, Centice Corp. of North Carolina, and Estonia-based Clifton.

“The potential for material sciences and physics are almost limitless, and our goal is to help the companies working in these fields scale their technology and have a major impact on their respective industries,” said Dr. Serguei Kouzmine, managing partner at QWave Fund. “Centice, Clifton and Nano-Meta Technologies exemplify the kind of cutting-edge companies that we want to work with and which we believe will help usher in the next technological revolution.”

QWave, which has offices in Boston and Moscow, is backed by a team of PhDs around the world in nuclear physics and computer science, as well as engineers and scientists with entrepreneurial track records in business development. The fund’s scientific advisory board includes professors and scientists from Harvard University, Purdue and quantum centers around the world, including Canada, Russia and Singapore, the company said.

Founded by a team of professors of electrical and computer engineering from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., Nano-Meta Technologies creates technology that will significantly advance the fields of optical and quantum computing as well as enable a new generation of devices for powerful superresolution imaging, sensing, energy conversion and biomedical applications through the development of nanoscale optical components and novel materials, QWave said. The company, which has a Russia-based subsidiary, Photon Nano-Meta Technologies, will use the new investment to produce a single-photon generator based on metamaterials and to identify future development and IP protection strategies.

“The field of optical metamaterials has emerged as one of the most exciting and dynamic fields in the science of light over the past few years, and the work we’re doing in this field has the potential to radically advance both quantum and optical computing,” said Vladimir Shalaev, co-founder and scientific director of Nano-Meta Technologies. “The investment and the strategic guidance from the team at QWave will help us accelerate our growth and develop products that will create the optical technologies of the future.” (For more on Shalaev’s work, see his presentation, “Transforming Light with Metamaterials” in Photonics Media’s The Future of Optics webinar.)  

Centice, founded in 2004 from technology created at Duke University, is pioneering chemical verification and identification using Raman spectroscopy and computational sensor technology. Its portable Mobile Field Lab-3000 system provides the security industry with technology to identify narcotics and explosives that is typically only available to crime labs, QWave said. The funds it is providing to the company will support R&D efforts to decrease production costs and increase sales and distribution.

“Our 2013 plan is very aggressive and the investment and work with the QWave team will help seal our strategic direction and the success of the MFL-3000 in the marketplace,” said Centice CEO & President Dr. Prasant Potuluri (Potuluri will speak on his company’s technology in Photonics Media’s webinar, “Raman Spectroscopy for Research and Industry”).

Clifton was created by semiconductor R&D specialists and venture capitalists in 2000. It developed a new class of high-voltage semiconductors used by power electronics manufacturers in Europe, Asia and America in industries ranging from mining to space technology. The company’s proprietary liquid phase epitaxy (LPE) process adds unique high-voltage capability to GaAs at a low cost, and its GaAs diodes also have excellent temperature stability, QWave said.

“We’re focused on driving fundamental change in the semiconductor industry, helping power electronics manufacturers create better, safer and higher performing products,” said Volker Dudek, Clifton chief technology officer. QWave’s investment will allow the company to retrofit its current lab in Tartu, Estonia, for industrial production.

For more information, visit: http://qwcap.com, www.nanometatech.com, www.centice.com or www.clifton.ee/en 


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