CytoSMART to Join Axion BioSystems Following Acquisition: Week in Brief: 03/24/22

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SILVERWATER, Australia, March 25, 2022 — Semiconductor developer BluGlass Ltd. will acquire a 19,000-sq-ft commercial Silicon Valley laser diode production facility lease and manufacturing equipment for $2.5 million. BluGlass secured 3.4 million AUD (~$2.6 million) to fund the acquisition and ongoing operation of the production facility.

HAMAMATSU, Japan — Hamamatsu Photonics reported its development of a terahertz image intensifier. The device features high resolution and quick response time, enabling real-time imaging of terahertz wave pulses transmitted through or reflected from target objects. The technology was developed by applying photoelectric conversion using metamaterial antennas that convert terahertz waves into electrons, to existing imaging technology to form an antenna on the inner surface of the image intensifier input window. The antenna was redesigned to increase the efficiency of converting terahertz waves into electrons, which are multiplied by the vacuum. Hamamatsu said the terahertz image intensifier is the first of its kind.
Hamamatsu's THz image intensifier. Courtesy of Hamamatsu Photonics.
Hamamatsu's terahertz image intensifier. Courtesy of Hamamatsu Photonics. 
EDINBURGH, Scotland — Ultrafast laser developer and manufacturer Chromacity entered an agreement with photonics and quantum science consulting firm Tematys to develop industrial opportunities for its ultrafast lasers in France. Located in Paris and Marseille, Tematys aims to bridge the gap between photonics-enabled technologies and emerging industrial applications. The partnership will see Tematys align the technological sourcing requirements for organizations based in France with the technical capabilities of Chromacity’s ultrafast lasers.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The recently passed bipartisan omnibus spending package for fiscal year 2022 will include $83 million in funding for the OMEGA Laser Facility at the University of Rochester Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE). The funding will allow LLE to support facility operations and experiments on OMEGA to make progress on the three most viable approaches to fusion, as well as support the research programs of the three Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration Laboratories.

ATLANTA — Axion BioSystems, a life science technology company focused on advanced live-cell assay systems, acquired live-cell imaging analysis company CytoSMART Technologies. The collaboration positions Axion for significant expansion in the fields of stem cell research, immune-oncology, cell-based therapies, and drug discovery.

LEUVEN, Belgium — Imec.xpand, an early-stage deep-tech investor, announced the first closing of its second fund at €150 million (~$164.93 million) in committed capital. The independently managed imec.xpand fund invests in startups that benefit from imec’s knowledge, expertise, network, and/or infrastructure in the development of their technology roadmap.

WILTSHIRE, England — Ministry of Defence-owned innovation company Ploughshare has won more than £280,000 (~$360,000) in grants to develop two technologies. The company facilitated successful bids by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory to the government’s new Knowledge Assets Grant Fund. The funds will assist in developing two technologies: a predictive test for sepsis being developed by Presymptom Health, and a sensor from Sentinel Photonics that can detect and identify laser threats. The grants, offered by the Knowledge Assets unit in the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy, are to support the repurposing, commercialization, or expanded use of public sector knowledge assets.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Advanced flow cytometry technology company Kinetic River Corp. was awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. The competitive $2.5 million grant was awarded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), which fosters the development of innovative biomedical platforms. The company’s fifth SBIR award supports its development of an autofluorescence-free flow cytometry platform for enhanced analytical sensitivity.

BRISBANE, Australia — Deep-tech mining startup Plotlogic has raised $18 million in a Series A round led by Innovation Endeavors. The company plans to use the capital to invest in R&D, bolster commercialization, and support the company’s proprietary OreSense Technology. OreSense combines lidar and hyperspectral imaging technology with advanced machine learning algorithms to deliver highly accurate ore characterization in real time.

PORTLAND, Ore. — PreAct Technologies, a developer of near-field flash lidar technology, and ESPROS Photonics, a designer and producer of time-of-flight chips and 3D cameras, will collaborate to develop flash lidar technologies for specific use cases in automotive, trucking, industrial automation, and robotics. The sensor solutions created by PreAct and ESPROS will address top ADAS and self-driving features such as traffic sign recognition, curb detection, night vision, and pedestrian detection with high frame rates and resolution.

DUBLIN — Pilot Photonics, a spinout from Dublin City University, received a €1.8 million  (~$0.9 million) investment from Kernel Capital through the Bank of Ireland Growth Fund II. Pilot Photonics developed novel comb laser technology using its patented gain switching technique that allows it to generate and manipulate waves of light with exceptional precision, effectively creating multiple lasers from a single device. Application markets include telecoms, automotive, aerospace, and energy.
From left: Frank Smyth, Co-founder & CTO, Pilot Photonics; William Oppermann, CEO, Pilot Photonics; Leo Clancy, Chief Executive, Enterprise Ireland & Denise Sidhu, Partner, Kernel Capital. Courtesy of Gerard McCarthy.
From left: Frank Smyth, co-founder and CTO, Pilot Photonics; William Oppermann, CEO, Pilot Photonics; Leo Clancy, chief executive, Enterprise Ireland; and Denise Sidhu, partner, Kernel Capital. Courtesy of Gerard McCarthy. 

KIYOSU, Japan — In collaboration with Osaka University, Toyoda Gosei successfully increased the diameter of substrates for gallium nitride (GaN) power devices. The joint research project from which the result stemmed used a method of growing GaN crystals in liquid metal of sodium and gallium to fabricate a high-quality GaN substrate of over 6 in.

STOCKHOLM — Biomedical Bonding (BMB), together with RISE Research Institutes of Sweden and Ivoclar, has been granted funding from the Eurostars program. The company will advance its Bonevolent technology by partnering with experts in medical device testing and a global leader in light-cured dental materials. The two-year project will have a  budget of €1.35 million (~$1.48 million) and will start in June.

DAVIDSON, N.C. — Curtiss-Wright Corp. announced the successful verification of the Curtiss-Wright Laser Peening process on the airframe components of the fifth-generation F-35 fighter jet. The company was selected to help extend the life expectancy of the F-35B, the short take-off, vertical landing variant. The verification was implemented by the Fleet Readiness Center East at the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, and the first F-35B to undergo the treatment has been successfully returned to the fleet.

Published: March 2022
BluglassHamamatsu PhotonicsChromacityTematysUniversity of RochesterOMEGA Laser FacilityLaboratory for Laser Energetics at the University of RochesterAxion BiosystemsIMECBusinessWeek in BriefPloughshareSentinel PhotonicsKinetic River CorpPlotlogicPreAct TechnologiesEspros PhotonicsPilot Photonics Ltd.Toyoda GoseiBiomedical BondingCurtiss-Wright Corp.

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