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Laser 2015: Swiss pair claim start-up awards

24 Jun 2015

Startup World presents first photonics innovation and 3D printing awards to two Swiss companies: Nanolive and Femtoprint.

At Startup World – part of the LASER World of PHOTONICS expo in Munich – the winners of the first competion were announced this morning in the two categories of photonics technology and 3D printing.

The Photonics Technology Award was presented to Yann Cotte, CEO of Nanolive, Ecublens, Switzerland. The 3D Printing Award was presented to Nicoletta Casanova, CEO of Femtoprint, Muzzano, also in Switzerland, which develops 3D printing techniques for producing glass microdevices.

The first prizes of the new awards, judged by a panel of industry experts in recent months and presented here today by various representatives of industry and Messe München, include a €5000 grant, a free booth at this year’s Startup World and a business development package from Messe München and AZO, a Bavarian hub of the aerospace industry.

Femtoprint is described as a 3D production system for glass microdevices. The compact tabletop instrument offers 3D printing functions for manufacturing nanostructures in microsystem components using glass or other transparent materials. Casanova told the Munich gathering, “Our technology involved uses precision femtosecond lasers to assemble complex 3D microstructures, such as those needed for advanced medical equipment.”

Nanolive is a start-up based at the EPFL Innovation Park, Lausanne. Founded in 2013, the company has developed what it calls “a revolutionary microscope” – the 3D Cell Explorer, which enables investigation of living cells in 3D without damaging them. Cotte commented, “For the first time, scientists can now observe the inner workings of cells, including their nuclei and organelles.”

The second and third place in the category 3D Printing Award went to the Swisslitho AG for NanoFrazor and the Polish company Sandmade for the LS One Printer; and in the category Photonics Technology Award to the Danish Norlase ApS for the AuroraOne laser and the US company 8Tree LLC for dentCHECK.

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Matthew Peach is a contributing editor to optics.org

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