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TOPTICA Relocates North American HQ: Week in Brief: 09/16/2022

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PITTSFORD, N.Y., Sept. 16, 2022 — TOPTICA Photonics Inc. moved its U.S. headquarters to Pittsford, N.Y. The company’s headquarters had been in Farmington, N.Y., and the new location remains near Rochester, N.Y. According to the company, the new facility more than doubles the footprint, allowing the company to increase its lab and production spaces that are critical for anticipated growth over the next decade. TOPTICA employs nearly 40 people in the Rochester, N.Y., area and expects the number to increase to about 70 employees over the next several years. TOPTICA Photonics Inc. is TOPTICA’s North American subsidiary.

FREIBURG, Germany — The developers of two photonics technologies are nominated for the German Future Prize, the German president’s prize for technology and innovation, as announced by the Office of the Federal President. The developers of the ZEISS Lattice Lightsheet 7 microscope and the team at Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems behind the development of the storage-based, ultrafast charging system ChargeBox, a system that enables fast charging of e-vehicles, are two of the three teams up for the prize. The winning team will receive its award from German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Oct. 26.

OSLO — GTT, an engineering company in containment systems for shipping and storage in cryogenic conditions of liquefied natural gas, and TRUMPF, through TRUMPF Venture, are leading a €6.4 million (~$6.4 million) investment round in Tunable AS, a Norwegian startup that designs and manufactures compact multi-gas analyzers based on MEMS technology, combing micro- and nanotechnology with infrared spectroscopy. Tunable’s products are used in the shipping industry, measuring emission from large ship engines and analyzing fuel gas. The company, founded in 2015 as a spinout from SINTEF, is testing its sensors in other areas.
TRUMPF Venture, together with the French technology group GTT, is leading a financing round in  Tunable AS. Tunable develops and manufactures compact sensors based on MEMS technology. The MEMS design of an optical filter enables the compact desing of the company's tunable sensor. Courtesy of Tunable AS.
TRUMPF Venture, together with the French technology group GTT, is leading a financing round in Tunable AS. Tunable develops and manufactures compact sensors based on MEMS technology. The MEMS design of an optical filter enables the compact design of the company's tunable sensor. Courtesy of Tunable AS.
TOKYO — Nikon Corp. invested in Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies Global Inc. (HMT), an additive manufacturing company that created an approach enabling users to integrate additive tools onto any platform. HMT’s tool changeable heads are compatible with laser and nonlaser processes. The investment supports Nikon’s further industrialization of digital manufacturing, according to Yuichi Shibazaki, Nikon corporate vice president and general manager of its Next Generation Project.

HELSINKI, Finland — ICEYE, owner of a synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) satellite constellation, and SATLANTIS, a new space optical imaging company, plan to develop and manufacture a proposed Tandem for Earth Observation (TANDEM4EO) constellation. The constellation is to consist of two radar and two very high-resolution optical satellites. The program is planned to support the New Space strategy of several European Union nations, with a focus on Spain. The Tandem4EO constellation is planned to be launched as a collection of four satellites in total, each capable of under 1-m resolution imaging. The constellation intends to serve solutions related to natural catastrophes, security, environmental monitoring at land and sea, infrastructure development, precise SAR interferometry-based change detection, and more.
A collaboration between ICEYE and SATLANIS combines SAR and optical imaging with video capability. According to the companies, this will enable a new level of effectiveness for assessing in detail what is happening in a location of interest right now and over time. With this dual-instrument approach, data users will gain the benefits of versatility, reliability, and ease of use. Courtesy of ICEYE.
A collaboration between ICEYE and SATLANTIS combines SAR and optical imaging with video capability. According to the companies, this will enable a new level of effectiveness for assessing in detail what is happening in a location of current interest and over time. With this dual-instrument approach, data users will gain the benefits of versatility, reliability, and ease of use. Courtesy of ICEYE.

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Advanced x-ray detector developer and manufacturer Sydor Technologies was awarded a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant for the development of an ultrafast, radiation-hardened hybrid-CMOS x-ray detector for high-energy x-ray research. Funding is valued at $200,000 and is being provided by the U.S. Department of Energy. The main objective of the Phase I SBIR program awarded to Sydor Technologies will be to study the design of a read-out integrated circuit, developed in a previous project with national laboratory involvement, and generate a product roadmap for a new, more robust commercial camera system. The result will be an ultrafast, radiation-hard, x-ray imager for advanced laser diagnostics.


EDINBURGH, Scotland — UniKLAsers, a designer and manufacturer of single-frequency diode-pumped solid-state lasers, unveiled a new brand identity. The company’s new name is SkyLark Lasers. There is no change to the legal company entity.

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Applications opened for the 2023 SPIE Startup Challenge, held annually as part of SPIE Photonics West. The SPIE Startup Challenge is a competitive platform for new businesses that use optics and photonics for innovative products or applications. Participating teams compete for sponsored prizes, in addition to gaining increased visibility with potential investors. The deadline to apply is Oct. 20.

DUSSELDORF, Germany — Henkel acquired materials technology startup NBD Nanotechnologies, a developer of surface properties such as repellency for plastics or optical coatings for displays. The acquisition seeks to strengthen the position of Henkel’s Adhesive Technologies business unit in the area of functional coatings. Both parties have agreed not to disclose financial details of the transaction.

NEW SOUTH WALES, Australia — Semiconductor technology company BluGlass joined the University of California, Santa Barbara’s Solid-State Lighting and Energy Electronics Center (SSLEEC) consortium. SSLEEC is an invitation-only collaboration between industry leaders and the university’s gallium nitride researchers, including blue-LED inventor and Nobel laureate Shuji Nakamura and Steven DenBaars. The consortium focuses on the development of new semiconductor technologies for energy-efficient lighting, disinfection, advanced mobile displays, augmented and virtual reality, communication, and power electronics.

LOVELAND, Colo. — Heska Corp., a provider of advanced veterinary diagnostic and specialty solutions, entered into a definitive agreement to acquire MBio Diagnostics Inc., whose technology platform is built on planar waveguide technology that uses disposable test cartridges and a portable analyzer. The deal’s purchase price is $38.7 million. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2023.

PARIS — Rivada Space Networks, a developer of satellite-based optical communications, joined the EU Secure Connectivity Programme.  

REDMOND, Wash. — Space technology startup SkyWatch Space Applications and Xplore Inc., a commercial space company, signed a partnership agreement that will accelerate Xplore’s commercial data distribution strategy and expand the diversity of accessible sensor data for the remote sensing market and new applications. Using SkyWatch’s Terrastream, Xplore eliminates the expense of building and managing IT infrastructure, thereby reducing associated risks to platform design and data distribution.

*SAN DIEGO — Liquid Instruments, a supplier of precision software-defined instrumentation, secured $28.5 million in series B funding. The round brings Liquid Instruments’ total funding to more than $50 million.

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Luminate NY, the world’s largest business accelerator for startup companies in the optics, photonics, and imaging industries, is accepting applications for its sixth cohort. The companies selected to take part in round six of Luminate NY will compete for one of 10 available slots. At the completion of the program, teams will compete for a total of $2 million in follow-on funding, including a $1 million investment to the winning team and other investments totaling an additional $1 million. 

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Industry analyst firm CIR launched its market analyst advisory service focused on co-packaged optics (CPO). The firm has expanded its coverage of the CPO space — beyond its annual CPO forecast and analysis report — to provide ongoing assessments of key market, technology, and supplier developments along with updated forecasting throughout the year.

*This article has been updated for accuracy to include the $28.5 M figure recently secured by Liquid Instruments.


Published: September 2022
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