Attending the SPIE Photonics West 2023 Exhibition

Ainārs Knoks and Olga Bogdanova from ISSP UL’s Materize participated in the exhibition /conference SPIE Photonics West in San Francisco (USA) from the 28th of January to the 4th of February 2023. Innovation, research, and insights about emerging technology were in the spotlight, presented by world-class speakers and industry experts.

During the visit, two exhibitions and a cluster event were planned to attend. At the cluster event, Materize representatives met various industry representatives and established contacts with companies from the USA, Israel, the United Kingdom, and Canada.

This year’s exhibition focused on three main topics: AR/VR use and development; Quantum technologies; Optics and nanotech.

Before the event, Materize reached out to multiple companies and start-ups in photonics, batteries and hydrogen energy, thin films and others.

After visiting companies, Ainārs Knoks and Olga Bogdanova could draw multiple conclusions concerning ISSP UL’s potential development opportunities:

Optical coatings are still a big market; there are many niche market areas where small-scale prototypes and orders can be created with magnetron sputtering. Materize and ISSP UL should combine theoretical calculations with thin film deposition and develop package services with various refractive index film stacks.

A general trend of “more for less” also was noted. Sensors, thin films and other integrated solutions are bundled with the smallest form factor, highest efficiency and functionality. Many companies have used epitaxial material deposition and growth; ISSP UL has such capabilities, but they are utilized to a partial extent. Our capabilities in microfluidics and sensor development have the potential to find their market.

During the visit, Ainārs and Olga had the opportunity to meet the representatives of Vivid Inc., a company based in San Jose specializing in coating development and coating services. Additionally, they meet representatives of Alluxa, a high-performance optical filter and thin-film coating manufacturer in Santa Rosa. During these meetings, they discussed potential collaboration opportunities requiring further evaluation.

This year, ThorLabs company presented their new sensor with the recently licensed IP from ISSP UL. This sensor generated interest from customers and competitors. Thorlabs mentioned that they planned to release this sensor to the market soon. Thus, IP licensing can enter the market quickly and create great interest. ISSP UL should invest more time into cyclic market analysis and check to identify if the current IP is market ready.

SPIE Photonics West 2023 provided opportunities to reconnect with colleagues in San Francisco. More than 22,000 registered attendees joined the event, walked three exhibitions to see 1,400+ exhibitors, and watched more than 4,500 technical presentations at the conferences.