CVI expands European presence
To increase its European manufacturing capacity by more than 25%, add new material processing capabilities such as phosphate disc polishing to the product mix, and provide improved flexibility to serve customers worldwide, CVI Technical Optics (Albuquerque, NM) has acquired Quality Laser Optics (QLO; Ballasalla, Isle of Man).
“We are combining two complementary companies to create a single trusted source for spherical lenses, cylindrical lenses, multielement lenses, waveplates, polarizers, beamsplitters, filters, windows, large format optics, mounts, and opto-mechanical subassemblies,” said Helmut Kessler, general manager of CVI Technical Optics.
OSA calls on Congress
Members of The Optical Society of America (OSA; Washington, D.C.) traveled to Washington, D.C., in late March to meet with Congressional representatives and emphasize the need for increased and balanced federal investment in R&D. OSA members joined with nearly 300 scientists, engineers, and business leaders who made visits on Capitol Hill as part of the 11th annual “Congressional Visits Days,” an event sponsored by the Science-Engineering-Technology Work Group.
“Members of OSA participated in Congressional Visits Day (CVD) to emphasize the important role that optics and photonics play in innovation,” said Elizabeth Rogan, OSA’s executive director. “U.S. funding of basic research in our field is an investment that fuels the economy in the forms of new technologies, products, services and jobs.”
AFM grant goes to Infinitesima
Infinitesima (Oxford, England), developer of the VideoAFM (atomic-force microscope), has been selected by the U.K. Government Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to receive a Grant for R&D. The grant will allow Infinitesima to advance its leadership position in AFM technology.
VideoAFM is used by researchers to view dynamic processes at the molecular level-scanning samples and viewing processes in real-time-and is becoming a fundamental tool in the fast-growing area of bionanotechnology research.
Schott expands optics business in China
Schott (Mainz, Germany) is strengthening its optics business in China with the opening of Wuxi Unique Schott Optical Co. The new company opened for business in the Wuxi National High Technology Development Zone, which is located about 100 miles northwest of Shanghai in the Jiangsu province.
The new company manufactures optical glass blanks used in digital imaging and projection devices. Costing $8 million, the facility was constructed on approximately 30,000 square meters of land and will initially employ 200 people. The central location within the country will give customers in and around China better and faster service through substantially reduced lead times.
Thermo Electron sells biosensor business
Farfield Group (Crewe, England) completed the acquisition of the resonant mirror optical biosensor business (formally known as Affinity Sensors) and related assets from Thermo Electron (Waltham, MA) for an undisclosed sum. According to Farfield, the acquisition will increase its life science market penetration and is in line with Farfield Group’s strategy of providing a comprehensive range of products and services allied to its core patented dual waveguide interferometer technology, including measurement tools for the characterization of protein structure and function.
The acquisition also gives the Farfield Group the opportunity to introduce users of Affinity Sensor IAsys to the next generation of optical biosensors through the AnaLight DPI product range. Customers will cover a wide range, from household names in pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries to leading academic research facilities.
AOA wins Northrop Grumman contract
The Advanced Optical Systems Division of Adaptive Optics Associates (AOA; Blackwood, NJ) was awarded a $6.5 million contract from Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems to improve laser designators used to identify battlefield targets. AOA, a subsidiary of imaging and scanning solutions provider Metrologic Instruments, was previously awarded and completed a $153,000 contract. This new contract has a potential value of $6.5 million with planned completion in the third quarter of 2009.
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Also in the news . . .
LightPath Technologies (Orlando, FL) was awarded a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant from the Naval Air Warfare Center to develop molding technologies for infrared optical components to provide lower costs for both government and commercial applications. . . . The OSA established its 90th student chapter at Australia National University (ANU; Canberra, Australia) during its 90th anniversary year. . . . Varioptic (Lyon, France) secured $20 million in its third round of financing for its liquid-lens technology that provides autofocus and zoom capability for mobile phones and digital cameras.