MIT CIPS meeting integrates research, entrepreneurship

CAMBRIDGE, MA-The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Integrated Photonic Systems (MIT CIPS), which serves to bring MIT photonics researchers together and link them with industry, will hold its third annual meeting May 2-4, 2007.

CAMBRIDGE, MA-The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Integrated Photonic Systems (MIT CIPS), which serves to bring MIT photonics researchers together and link them with industry, will hold its third annual meeting May 2-4, 2007. The conference will include one and a half days of technical talks and a full day devoted to entrepreneurship issues.

John Ambrosio, president and CEO of Coherent (Santa Clara, CA) and one of the plenary speakers, will give an overview of the range of markets that Coherent is involved in, including the scientific and medical arenas. Zachary Lemnios, CTO of MIT Lincoln Laboratory (Lexington, MA) and the other plenary speaker will discuss photonics applications in view of defense-industry needs.

Technical sessions include “Optical Broadband,” which will focus on the technology and economics of advanced broadband-access approaches, highlighting fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) deployment, as well as analysis of next-generation components and architectures. “High-Speed Interconnects” will cover advances in communications systems that are beginning to incorporate optical interconnects and silicon photonics, while “Photonic Integration” will feature a talk by Henry Smith of MIT on silicon photonics, one by Paul Juodawlkis of Lincoln Laboratory on indium phosphide photonics, and one by Vladimir Bulovic of MIT on roll-to-roll photonic-device integration.

In “Biophotonics,” Dave Krohn, managing partner of Lightwave Venture Consulting, will give an overview of the optical-sensor market, while Petros Kotidis, VP of Axsun Technologies (Billerica, MA) will speak about his company’s experiences in pharmaceutical-spectroscopy applications, including drug discovery and manufacturing. Other technical sessions include “Applications of Ultrafast,” covering applications of nano- through femtosecond pulses ranging from materials processing to metrology; and “Advanced Communications Networks,” which will concentrate on advanced architectures for free-space communications.

The last day’s workshop, entitled “The Photonics Enterprise,” will include presentations and panel discussions by photonic entrepreneurs and venture capitalists on topics ranging from opportunities for venture funding to key issues in starting and growing photonics companies. “It will, for example, include ‘lessons learned’ type of information,” says Fred Leonberger, CIPS senior advisor.

The panel’s moderator is John Dexheimer, president of LightWave Advisors, which has helped optics firms raise $800 million of equity; Dexheimer was the initial investor in New Focus (San Jose, CA) and other photonics firms. Fahri Diner, general partner of Applied Materials Ventures, will discuss venture opportunities in communications, while Alexei Erchak, founder and CTO of solid-state-lighting firm Luminus Devices (Woburn, MA), will advise on launching a start-up from a university.
-John Wallace

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