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Business briefs

07 Jan 2008

Featuring news from BCC Research, Quantel, Goodrich, Mobius Photonics, Light Blue Optics, Holochip and others.

• The global market for photovoltaics (PV) is expected to be worth $12.9 billion in 2007, and increase to $32.3 billion by 2012 according to a market report. The growth will be driven by the global demand for energy, the potential problems of climate change, the renewable features of solar energy and improvements in PV technology and materials. Silicon technology will continue to dominate, but fall from 89% of the market to 79% over the forecast period, while improvements in the use of thin-film materials on flexible substrates will lead to thin films accounting for 19% of the market by 2013. Research and development efforts on nanostructured thin films and silicon and dye-sensitized solar cells will see these new technologies grow rapidly from their current 0.5% market share, according to Photovoltaics: Global Markets & Technologies available from BCC Research.

• Big Sky Laser Technologies, a US solid-state laser manufacturer, is changing its name to Quantel USA. It will continue to design and manufacture its Big Sky Laser product line, while also aiming to increase the market penetration of Quantel's industrial and scientific product lines in the US.

• The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has selected Goodrich to develop next-generation night vision sensor technology for helmet-mounted and micro vehicle applications. A three-year contract released under DARPA's MicroSensors for Imaging (MISI) program to Goodrich's ISR Systems division covers engineering and initial prototypes of lightweight imaging cameras based on the company's shortwave infrared sensors. The company's technology is already used in applications including non-invasive medical examinations and silicon wafer inspection.

• A licensing agreement between Mobius Photonics and Harvard University allows the company exclusive use of technology broadly covering UV laser sources and the harmonic wavelength conversion of the output of a seeded amplifier. The technology is said by Mobius to now be commercially viable and allow higher quality, smaller size and more compact packaging of laser sources.

Light Blue Optics (LBO), a developer of holographic laser projection technology, will open an Engineering and Business Development facility in Colorado Springs, US, to accelerate product development and commercialization of the company's miniature projection systems for high-volume markets. The establishment of LBO's US operations is part of the company's aim to be the leading supplier of miniature projection systems, according to a statement.

• The South East England Photonics Network, SEPNET, has been regrouped to support the more than 200 companies and organizations that are active in photonics in the UK's south east region. Supported financially by the Photonics Knowledge Transfer Network, SEPNET will provide an interface to disseminate information on funding initiatives, be a mechanism for encouraging collaboration with those in other industry sectors and organize local meetings. A strategy board to represent local photonics organizations and provide a co-ordinated voice to government is also planned.

Holochip, a manufacturer of variable-focus adaptive polymer lens technology for mobile imaging and digital cameras, completed a $2.7 million Series A round including a strategic investment from ITOCHU, one of Japan's largest trading and technology companies. Holochip also announced a strategic partnership with ITOCHU for fabrication, sales, marketing and distribution of its products in Japan. The investment will enable Holochip to expand its product and market development activities while the strategic relationship with ITOCHU is said to be especially beneficial in positioning the company in the Japanese camera and mobile device market, according to the company.

People

• Kevin Garcia has been named CEO of Breault Research Organization (BRO), a developer of optical software and engineering. Garcia returns to the company where he previously held senior engineer and director of engineering positions.

• Håkan Karlsson has been appointed CEO and director of marketing and sales by Cobolt, a Swedish manufacturer of low-noise diode-pumped CW lasers. He replaces Rune Glavare, who remains chairman of the company. The changes are said to be part of the company's current phase of increased market presence, including the recent tripling of its production capacity.

Photonic Products Group has appointed John Ryan vice president of sales and marketing, replacing Devaunshi Sampat. Ryan will focus on building domestic and international customers for the US company's portfolio of optical components, coatings and electro-optical assemblies.

Omicron-Laserage Laserprodukte GmbHSchaefter und Kirchhoff GmbHCobolt ABFISBAEclipse OpticsKentek CorporationNanoscribe GmbH
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