24 Mar 2005
Including news from e2v, Evident Technologies, NanoOpto, Transmode, and more.
General company news:
• Quantum dot expert Evident Technologies and flexible solar cell manufacturer Konarka have formed a joint research program to develop high performance, polymer-based photovoltaic products. The project combines Evident's semiconductor nanocrystals with Konarka's conductive polymers to increase the sensitivity of plastic solar cells over a wider spectral range.
• The UK-based e2v Centre for Electronic Imaging, a collaboration between Brunel University and e2v Technologies, opens this week. It forms part of Brunel's school of engineering and aims to create a stream of well qualified engineers and scientists to fill a critical skills gap. The center builds on e2v's success as a designer and supplier of CCD image sensors and hopes to transform R&D activity into new electronic imaging technology.
Contracts and funding:
• Photron USA has been awarded a contract by White Sands Missile Range to replace aging 16 mm and 35 mm high speed film cameras with a range of fast frame-rate, CMOS imaging systems. Worth more than $2 million, the initial contract is for 26 of the firm's ultima APX-RS devices and begins the process of replacing up to 75 cameras at the missile testing facility in New Mexico, US.
• NanoOpto, a specialist in the nano-fabrication of optical components, has raised $12 million of series C financing. The round was lead by private growth-equity investor First Analysis. Total financing raised by NanoOpto to date is $42.3 million. "NanoOpto is now in volume production, shipping optical devices to a broad range of markets, including optical disk drives, digital imaging, projection displays, and communications," said NanoOpto CEO Barry Weinbaum.
Mergers and acquisitions:
• Optical communications firms Transmode Systems and Lumentis, both based in Stockholm, Sweden, have merged with immediate effect. Transmode CEO Isaac Olasoko will lead the combined firm, which has a total investment to date of $81 million. The new company will retain the "Transmode" identity.
• Axsys Technologies of the US is to acquire Diversified Optical Products (DiOP), a manufacturer of thermal cameras and lens systems, for $60 million in cash. DiOP supplies infrared surveillance equipment to the US military and port authorities and had sales of $22.3 million in 2004. "[The addition of DiOP] will establish a strong position in the fast-growing homeland security surveillance market, bolster our existing infrared lens business and create a new focus for our motion control business," said Stephen Bershad, CEO of Axsys.