Optics Industry Report

Jan. 1, 2003
BTG and INO look forward to new applications; Axsys exits photonics-automation business; NSF funds collaborative biophotonics center; MORE...

BTG and INO look forward to new applications

BTG (West Conshohocken, PA) has signed a strategic alliance agreement with INO (Sainte-Foy, Quebec, Canada) to co-invest in the development of forward-looking uses for photonics. The arrangement will give INO access to BTG's expertise in intellectual property and technology transfer, while allowing BTG to utilize INO's capabilities to assess, prototype, and deliver photonics solutions to a wide range of industries. The companies will work together in several areas, including microoptics and microsystems, applied optical systems, fiberoptics, optical communications, and lasers.

Axsys exits photonics-automation business

Optical-components manufacturer Axsys Technologies (Rocky Hill, CT) is getting out of the photonics-automation business to focus on its core optomechanical component and assembly capabilities. The company has discontinued its Automation Group and sold its Fiber Automation Division (FAD) to Palomar Technologies (Vista, CA). The new organization, Palomar Photonics Automation, will continue operations in its Pittsburgh facility as a wholly owned subsidiary of Palomar Technologies.

NSF funds collaborative biophotonics center

Funded with $52 million over the next 10 years, including a $40 million grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), the Center for Biophotonics Science and Technology at the University of California, Davis, will bring together scientists, industry, educators, and the community to research and develop applications for biophotonics and support photonics training and education. The center is the only NSF-funded site in the United States that will focus on this area of research. In addition to UC Davis and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL; Fremont, CA), center members include UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley, CA), Stanford University (Palo Alto, CA), Alabama A&M University (Normal, AL), University of Texas at San Antonio, Hampton University (Hampton, VA), Fisk University (Nashville, TN), and Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, LA).

Ball and Kodak develop planet-finding optics

NASA has awarded a contract with a potential value of $28.4 million to Ball Aerospace and Technology (BATC; Boulder, CO) for development of the optics and detectors for a high-tech camera for the Kepler planet-finding spacecraft, scheduled for launch in 2007. Eastman Kodak (Rochester, NY) will provide a unique two-piece optical subsystem for Kepler that is designed to allow Kepler to continuously gaze at more than 100,000 stars at the same time. Other major subcontractors are Semiconductor Technology Associates (San Juan Capistrano, CA) and EV2 (Elmsford, NY), which are providing detectors for Kepler.

New SPIE meeting on optical manufacturing

Based on the continued success of the Optatec International Trade Fair for Optics and Optical Manufacturing Technologies, SPIE (Bellingham, WA) and APOMA (Rochester, NY) are launching Optifab. Optifab 2003 will be held May 19–22 at the Riverside Convention Center in Rochester, NY. The sponsors expect the event to be the largest optical manufacturing exhibition ever held in North America.

Hassaun A. Jones-Bey

For more business news, subscribe to Optoelectronics Report. Contact Jayne Sears-Renfer at [email protected].

Also in the news . . .

Agilent Technologies (Palo Alto, CA) and the Photonics Center at Boston University (BU; Boston, MA) are collaborating to develop BU's new state-of-the-art Photonics Center laboratory. The laboratory, expected to open in February 2003, will enable early-stage optics companies to research and create new technologies. . . . Newport (Irvine, CA) has opened a new 42,000-sq-ft optics-manufacturing facility for the company's growing Newport Precision Optics (NPO) Business. . . . Research Electro-Optics (Boulder, CO) has appointed P&T Consulting as its European representative for sales of optical components. . . . For the first year in the 28-year history of the Nikon Instruments (Melville, NY) Small World Photomicrography Competition, the calendar of winning photos, including photomicrographs of a rat cerebellum, human sperm, a ten-cent Euro coin, and a sheep placenta, will be offered through consumer retail outlets other than select museum stores. . . .Tektronix (Beaverton, OR) has sold a family of optical-transmission test products and certain other related assets within its optical-test portfolio to Digital Lightwave (Clearwater, FL) for $10 million in cash and a transfer of the lease on its manufacturing facility in Chelmsford, MA. . . . Royal Philips Electronics (Eindhoven, The Netherlands) and Jobin Yvon (Longjumeau, France) have finalized an agreement for the transfer of the ellipsometry business line of the former Philips Analytical business unit to Jobin Yvon.

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