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Business briefs

05 Mar 2007

Featuring news from Quantel, Nuvonyx, European lamp Companies Federation, Agilent Technologies, BFI Optilas, Ciena, Sydenergi, Emtelle, Aston University (UK), Flir Sstems, Synova, Aculight, NP Photonics and others.

Quantel has acquired Nuvonyx Europe, a subsidiary of the US company ICx and previously a Thal├Ęs Group subsidiary. Nuvonyx designs and manufactures high-power laser diodes, generating revenues of around €5 million. In 2006, its operating income came close to breaking even, excluding non-recurring provisions. Nuvonyx's technology is suited to applications in quasi continuous high-power laser diodes, which are used in defense, aerospace and pulsed lasers pumping.

Quantel says that this acquisition strengthens its range of products and brings on board a fundamental technology for the development of diode pumped lasers. The components produced by Nuvonyx Europe, which will pave the way for greater integration of the value chain for Quantel, are aimed at all of the markets on which the group is present: scientific, industrial, medical and military.

The deal, which will represent a total investment of around €2.5 million, will be financed through a €3 million capital increase, with almost 120,000 new shares to be created at a price of €25.27, with subscription reserved to about 10 institutional investors under a private placement.

• The European Lamp Companies Federation has announced the first joint industry commitment to support a governmental shift towards encouraging more efficient lighting products in private homes. The commitment was announced by Philips, Osram, GE, SLI Sylvania and other European lamp manufacturers following a meeting between industry, national governments and the European Commission at the International Energy Agency, in Paris. The lighting industry is developing a multi-pronged approach to achieve this government objective including public incentives to encourage consumers to purchase more efficient products and setting performance standards that will eliminate the least efficient products from the market.

Agilent Technologies has announced a distribution agreement with BFI Optilas, the first such for Agilent's worldwide distribution program for its HMMC family of products. BFI Optilas will act as a stocking distributor in Europe for Agilent RF and microwave products, including amplifiers, switches, attenuators and diodes. "We look forward to distributing Agilent's millimeter-wave IC family of products in Europe," said Ernesto Prestifilippo, business development director for BFI Optilas. Agilent's HMMC range comprises16 mm-wave ICs (amplifiers, attenuators and switches) and two zero-bias detector diodes.

Flir Systems has been awarded two contracts by the US Coast Guard with a combined value of up to $87 million. The first contract, valued at up to $50 million over five years, is for the US Coast Guard's Shipboard Infrared Visual Sensor System (SIRVSS). The second contract, valued at up to $37 million over 10 years, is for the Coast Guard's Electro Optical Sensor System (ESS). Anticipated deliveries already made under the contracts in 2007 total approximately $8 million.

Synova, the world pioneer and patent holder of water jet-guided laser technology, has announced a strategic business model that allows partners to license its proprietary Laser MicroJet technology. While the company will continue to develop, sell and service its own Laser MicroJet-based products, equipment manufacturers spanning various industries will now be able to integrate Synova's Laser MicroJet modules into their own tools, and end users will be able to integrate these modules directly into their production lines. By creating a network of strategic channel partners, this licensing model will facilitate a new revenue stream for the company, as well as firmly position Synova's technology in additional global markets and applications.

Fiber news

Ciena has announced results for its fiscal first quarter 2007 ended January 31, 2007. Revenue for Q1 totaled $165 million, representing a 3.2% sequential increase from Q4 2006 revenue ($160 million), and an increase of 37% over the same period a year ago ($120 million). Net income for Q1 2007 was $11 million, compared with a net loss of $6.3 million in Q1 2006.

"As bandwidth demands escalate across multiple traffic types, service provider and enterprise customers alike are increasingly looking for solutions that allow them to transition their networks toward powerful converged network architectures," said Gary Smith, Ciena's president and CEO. "Ciena's differentiated positioning as the transition specialist and our FlexSelect vision of next-generation networks are driving demand for our solutions worldwide, enabling us to deliver our twelfth sequential quarter of revenue growth."

• Thirty-three fibre optic installers from the Danish company SydEnergi have completed an Emtelle-certified course that addressed various aspects of fibreflow blown fibre technology, including installation, blowing and faultfinding. The course was supervised by Ian Gordon Fudge from FiberDK.

• Three grants totalling more than €1  million have been awarded to Aston University, to help improve the use of fiber optic cables in engineering, medicine and telecommunications. The awards have been given through an EU funded competition within the Sixth Framework Human Resources and Mobility Programme, known as the Marie Curie Actions.

In one of the projects, scientists at Aston's Photonics Research Group will use ultraviolet laser radiation to create sensing devices known as fibre Bragg gratings inside plastic optical fibres, enabling the fibres to be used to accurately measure temperature inside the human body or determine stresses and strains in aircraft wings and also bridges. The second project aims to develop new fabrication techniques for waveguide-microchip lasers, in particular the fabrication of a compact laser with monolithic cavity based on crystals doped with rare-earth or transition metal ions. The third project targets all-optical regeneration solutions related both to optical fiber networks and optical interconnects.

People

Aculight has hired two new senior scientists. Jonathon Wells is now Biomedical Liaison/Senior Scientist supporting the company's medical laser products. Pratheepan Madasamy has joined as senior scientist support Aculight's high-power fiber laser products.

"Wells was one of the lead researchers in infrared nerve stimulation at Vanderbilt University-our partner in developing the technology behind the Capella product line. And Madasamy brings tremendous experience in developing high-peak-power pulsed fiber laser systems," said Mark Bendett, Aculight director of product development.

NP Photonics, a developer of advanced micro-fiber products for sensing and scientific applications, has appointed Philippe Brak as president and CEO. He brings over 20 years of senior executive experience in the optical and microelectronics manufacturing industries to NP Photonics. In his role as VP sales and marketing, transformed NP from a technology-driven organization to a customer/market-oriented organization.

PMC-Sierra has announced that Michael Zellner has joined the company as VP, chief financial officer. Zellner has mkre than 25 years of senior management finance experience in the "high tech" sector. Previously he was senior VP finance and administration and CFO at Wind River Systems, a device software solutions provider to the electronics industry.

Electro Scientific Industries, a developer of production laser systems for microengineering applications, has appointed R.A. Srinivas to be VP marketing. Srinivas comes to ESI from Applied Materials, where he spent nearly 15 years in a succession of posts with increasing responsibilities. At ESI, his duties will include managing the company's overall market strategies for product and brand management, as well as further strengthening ESI's global leadership team.

Intense, developer of next generation semiconductor lasers, has appointed Graeme Alexander as CFO. As the company enters an exciting growth phase, Alexander will work alongside Scott Christie, Intense's CEO, and the management team to build on Intense's recent commercial success. Christie said, "I am delighted to welcome Graeme to the board of Intense. He has been working with us in a consultancy role for several months now. His commercial experience and strategic skills will bring further strength and depth to the management team."

Photon Engineering, LLCSchaefter und Kirchhoff GmbHCobolt ABBristol Instruments, Inc.Eclipse OpticsDataRay Inc.NIL Technology
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