News Briefs

March 1, 2010
DC LaserFest event: Laser pioneers, Nobel Laureates, and other laser luminaries were honored at a reception on February 12 in Washington, DC that was part of LaserFest, the 2010 celebration commemorating the 50th anniversary of the first demonstration of a working laser.

DC LaserFest event: Laser pioneers, Nobel Laureates, and other laser luminaries were honored at a reception on February 12 in Washington, DC that was part of LaserFest, the 2010 celebration commemorating the 50th anniversary of the first demonstration of a working laser. The event was co-hosted by the National Museum of American History of the Smithsonian Institution. U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu spoke during a program which included a video presentation featuring researchers reflecting on the development of early lasers. More than a dozen laser pioneers and Nobel Laureates were recognized at the event, including Charles Townes and Theodore Maiman. Read the full details at

OSA testifies on Capitol Hill: On February 24, Optical Society (OSA) past president Thomas M. Baer called for greater involvement by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in supporting the healthcare industry through developing standards and expanding its own ongoing research efforts in bioscience and healthcare. Baer testified before the House Science and Technology Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation on ways in which NIST could better serve the needs of the biomedical community. The hearing, How Can NIST Better Serve the Needs of the Biomedical Research Community in the 21st Century?, is one in a series designed to look at potentially restructuring science and technology agencies for the purposes of when the Committee reauthorizes the America COMPETES Act.

3D sponsor: Manufacturer of 3D active-shutter glasses XpanD (Ottawa, ON, Canada) was silver sponsor for the CFTPA (Canadian Film and Television Producers Association) Prime Time In Ottawa event February 17–19; in addition, Michael Williams, XpanD's sales manager, Professional Division, was part of an expert panel in the session, "To 3D or not to 3D--That is the Question!" With the emergence of newer systems in the theatrical market and the record-breaking film Avatar setting a new standard for 3D entertainment, the event hosted a panel of experts to address the many new technologies that are poised to bring that 3D viewing experience to the comfort of the living room.

Dollars for LED lighting: Technologies and Devices International (TDI; Silver Spring, MD), part of the Oxford Instruments Group, was awarded $600,000 by the Maryland Energy Administration to help industry expedite the broad adoption of energy-efficient LED lighting, and better position Maryland to become a national solid-state lighting materials and equipment manufacturing leader. This Clean Energy Economic Development Initiative award will enable TDI to hire three new scientists and engineers in 2010 and put it on track to create dozens more direct and indirect Maryland high-tech jobs by 2015. The award will help complete materials and process development and begin transferring that production technology to drive down manufacturing costs associated with LED lighting.

Solar coatings partnership: Hitachi High-Technologies Corp. (Tokyo, Japan) and XeroCoat (Redwood City, CA) announced a strategic partnership for the distribution of XeroCoat's anti-reflective coating solutions in Japan and China. With this partnership, Hitachi High-Technologies and XeroCoat aim to capture a leading share of the solar power generation market through the sale of anti-reflective coating equipment and materials to solar module and glass manufacturers. The cost benefits and other advantages offered by anti-reflective coatings are expected to spur their rapid uptake. According to Hitachi, 50% of all solar modules are projected to have such coatings by 2015.

Laser-guided missile on track: Raytheon's AGM-65E2/L, the newest variant of the laser-guided Maverick missile, a direct-attack air-to-ground precision munition used extensively by the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps in ongoing combat operations, is on track to enter developmental and operational testing. The AGM-65E2/L will have an enhanced laser seeker and new software, reducing the risk of collateral damage and enabling aircraft to use onboard lasers to designate targets. Raytheon's family of Maverick missiles provides more than 250 jobs in Tucson, AZ, Goleta, CA, and Farmington, NM.

Holographic storage casualty?: According to from Robin Harris, holographic storage company InPhase Technologies (Longmont, CO) has shut down. The blog reads: After 9 years and $100,000,000, holographic storage pioneer InPhase Technologies has shut down without ever shipping a product. Their office building was also seized for non-payment of back taxes. Then marketing VP Liz Murphy assured me that the product would ship in May, 2008. It didn't. The company struggled to find new investors. Reportedly many employees took pay cuts - or no pay at all - to help keep the company going. It is a sad and ignominious end to a brave technology experiment. And a warning to anyone trying to replace disk drives as random access storage.

ISO for optical coatings company: Reynard Corporation (San Clemente, CA), manufacturer of thin-film optical coatings for both military and commercial customers, was awarded ISO9001:2008 Quality Management System Certification from QAS International. Forrest Reynard, president, said, "Achieving ISO certification is just one investment we are continuing to make as part of our goals. We strive to increase our value to our Customers, helping them achieve their business growth objectives." Reynard says the ISO process has shown them that linking business objectives with operating effectiveness is a formula for success.

People in the news: Laser Photonics (Lake Mary, FL), provider of fiber and CO2 Laser equipment for materials processing, announced that David Porter was named CEO. Porter, with a background in senior management roles, will focus on structuring the company for continued growth while it delivers on its promise of unrivaled service and quality.

Electro Scientific Industries (ESI; Portland, OR), a provider of world-class photonic and laser systems for micro-engineering applications, appointed its newest member, David Nierenberg, to its Board of Directors, effective February 24, 2010. Nierenberg, with professional experience in investing and management consulting, comes to ESI with significant expertise in strategic planning and corporate governance matters.

Imagine Eyes (Orsay, France), a specialist in cellular-level retinal imaging, announced three additions to its management team. Stéphane Sallmard was named executive chairman of the Board of Directors. He was formerly CEO and managing director of OPTOS (Edinburgh) and orchestrated the funding round that brought over $28 million in capital to the company in order to bring their new retinal imaging instrument to market. Jamal Labed was named member of the Board of Directors. Labed founded the group SIGHT International in 1987, a data processing training company that is firmly established in France, Portugal, Morocco and Spain. Clément Viard was named head of the cellular-level retinal imaging program, formerly working at Carl Zeiss Meditec, Dicon Fiber Optics, and Gigabitoptics.

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