Ocean Optics Awards Blue Ocean Grants

Open innovation program rewards outstanding technology contributions
Dunedin, Florida (April 12, 2013) – Ocean Optics has announced the winners of this year’s Phase I Blue Ocean Grants (http://www.oceanoptics.com/corporate/blue_ocean_grants.asp). The open innovation program seeks novel ideas and technologies with the potential to change the world for the better and lead to eventual market commercialization. In its second year, the program has grown increasingly competitive with exceptional applications received from all over the world.


The Blue Ocean Grants are divided into two phases. Phase I grants are issued to fund initial evaluation and development of ideas and technologies to the proof-of-concept phase. These $10,000 awards help applicants design and develop new photonics technologies and applications. Phase II grants will be issued to nurture a proposed technology through proof-of-concept in a way that enables the potential of market commercialization. Phase II awards are much larger – up to $100,000 USD – and will be announced later this year.

This year’s Phase I winners are:
Anthony M. Filippi, Ph.D., and Burak Güneralp, Ph.D., from the Department of Geography, Texas A&M University; College Station, Texas, and Lee Tarpley, Ph.D., from the Texas AgriLife Research & Extension Center; Beaumont, Texas, for their proposal entitled “Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function Effect on Arsenic and Water-Stress Detection in Rice”

Dr. Damian Gardiner and Dr. Philip Hands from the Centre of Molecular Materials for Photonics and Electronics (CMMPE) at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom for their proposal entitled “Printable Laser Sources for Anti-Counterfeiting Applications”

Dr. Zheng Peichao, from the College of Optoelectronic Engineering, Chongqing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Chongqing, China for the proposal entitled “Low-Cost On-line Spectra Measurement Device for Metal Ions in Water”

Recipients were chosen by Ocean Optics and an independent panel of photonics industry experts based on potential to change the world for the better, out of the box thinking, technical merit and potential commercial viability.

“The quality of this year’s entries was exceptional and the interest in this program has continued to grow each year,” said David Creasey, Ocean Optics Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “The high quality of the applications made the selection process very competitive. The winners demonstrate the power of open innovation and drive to change the world through diverse application pathways. We’re excited and honored to help facilitate development at both the Phase I and Phase II levels of funding.”

For more information on the program, including full abstracts on the award-winning ideas, visit http://www.oceanoptics.com/corporate/blue_ocean_grants.asp

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Ocean Optics Unveils Novel Trade Show Display

In-line gumball sorter demonstrates remarkable range of optical sensing techniques
Dunedin, Fla. (March 19, 2013) – Ocean Optics recently unveiled what has been hailed as a clever and original trade show display – a fully functional, in-line gumball sorting machine. Debuted in February at the 2013 SPIE Photonics West Conference and Exhibition, a prestigious photonics industry event that drew 20,000 attendees to the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, the exhibit proved a hit. The same display will be featured at the PITTCON Conference & Expo from March 18-21, in Philadelphia, Pa., and LASER World of PHOTONICS in Munich, Germany, May 13-16.

Spectroscopy work station

Ocean Optics’ new trade show display demonstrates the versatility of spectroscopy with gumballs.

Despite its fanciful look, the Ocean Optics gumball sorter is a sophisticated optical measurement system comprising nearly a dozen spectroscopy measurement stations positioned throughout an 8-foot-tall, 6-sided structure. A series of stainless steel rails mounted to the structure delivers the gumball samples to each station, where spectrometer setups determine gumball sample characteristics such as chemical composition, color and reflectivity. Additional stations throughout the 900-square-foot booth measure absorbance and fluorescence of food coloring and flavorants, transmission characteristics of plastic containers and oxygen content in packaging. In all, nearly a dozen measurements using techniques as varied as Raman analysis, fluorescence, UV-Vis absorption and NIR spectroscopy are represented.

Each station in the gumball sorter acts as an independent analyzer: a measurement is made and the result registers the response in software, which then triggers a second device – a motorized gate – to direct the sample to the next measurement or a sorting bin. By the end of the three-day Photonics West show, more than 5,000 gumballs had been measured and sorted using spectroscopy technologies.

Ocean Optics has a long history of trade show displays distinguished by engaging presentations, live experiments and relevance to the photonics industry. And while a gumball sorter is whimsical, the science it demonstrates is serious: Every Ocean Optics instrument in the display and each technique it demonstrates can today be implemented into a process stream, used in a lab or field setting or incorporated into another sensing device.

Read the detailed Application Note.

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Ocean Optics Names Winner of 2013 Young Investigator Award

Cash prize and grant awarded during SPIE BiOS/Photonics West 2013 conference
Dunedin, Fla. (February 12, 2013) – Ocean Optics, the industry leader in miniature photonics, has named Christian F. Gainer of the University of Arizona as winner of the 2013 Ocean Optics Young Investigator Award.

The Young Investigator Award is presented to a researcher who has completed his or graduate work in the last five years and is the primary author of the best juried paper submitted as part of the “Colloidal Quantum Dots for Biomedical Applications V” session of the 2013 BiOS/Photonics West conference. The honor includes a $1,000 investigator reward and a company grant to the investigator’s advisor.

Gainer was honored for his work with his advisor, Marek Romanowski, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Arizona, presented in the paper “Multiphoton imaging of three-dimensional cancer models using upconverting lanthanide nanoparticles.” Their work describes the use of multiphoton scanning microscopy for three-dimensional modeling of colon and ovarian cancer.

Ocean Optics has sponsored the Young Investigator Award since 2008, part of a long tradition of supporting young scientists and educators from around the world. “We are energized and inspired by the efforts and discoveries of researchers early in their careers,” said Michael Allen, Ocean Optics Director, Marketing and Product Development. “Our support for these young men and women underscores our commitment to the vision of changing the world for the better through optical sensing.”

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Ocean Optics Brings in Throckmorton to Lead Global Engineering

Jeff Throckmorton, Ph.D. appointed of Vice President Engineering
Dunedin, FL (February 4, 2013) – Ocean Optics has appointed Jeff Throckmorton, Ph.D., Vice President of Engineering to lead the development of its line of end-user and OEM optical sensing products.

Jeff Throckmorton, Ph.D., Vice President of Engineering, Ocean Optics

Jeff Throckmorton, Ph.D., Vice President of Engineering, Ocean Optics

With offices in the US, Europe and Asia, Throckmorton will have responsibility for the company’s global engineering resources. His goal is to increase and enhance Ocean Optics current line of spectrometers, chemical sensors, analytical instrumentation, and accessories through both internal engineering and open innovation initiatives. He and his team will work closely with customers to solve measurement challenges not met by current products. Additionally, Throckmorton will be a member of the Ocean Optics’ board of directors, helping to shape company strategy.

Throckmorton comes to Ocean Optics from technology solutions provider Eltron Research & Development Company (Boulder, Colo.), where he served as Vice President of Technology. He has previously held multiple positions with subsidiaries of Danaher Corporation (Washington, D.C.) including Vice President Global Innovation for Hach-Lange, Vice President of Research & Development for Hach, and President of Hach Homeland Security Technologies. Earlier in his career held positions with HF Scientific, Inc. and BTG Process Control Sensors, Inc.

Throckmorton earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, Va.). He also holds Masters in Chemical Engineering and Doctorate in Engineering degrees from University of South Florida (Tampa, Fla.).

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Ocean Optics Earns OFweek’s 2012 Best LED Service Supplier Award in China

Dunedin, FL (December 4, 2012) – Ocean Optics has recently been recognized with an “OFweek 2012 Best LED Service Supplier Award” by China’s high technology portal OFweek photonics news (www.ofweek.com).

Since its entry into the Chinese market, Ocean Optics has contributed to the growth of China’s LED industry. The inventor of the world’s first miniature spectrometer provides photometry and colorimetry solutions to the complete LED manufacturing chain. Established in 2007, Ocean Optics Asia supports the company’s distributors and customers in the Pacific Rim with a team of application, sales and software engineers.

Ocean Optics was chosen for the OFweek honor from a pool of 200 nominated companies selected by the editors of OFweek. A total of 38 companies were recognized with awards in 10 categories, chosen by a panel of LED experts as well as online voting by LED professionals. Winners were announced during the 9th LED Pioneering Technology & Marketing Seminar at the 2012 Best LED Enterprises & Products Award Ceremony organized by OFweek photonics news.

Dr. Sun Ling, Vice President of Ocean Optics Asia said, “We feel so proud to be conferred the Best LED Service Supplier Award by OFweek. This honor encourages our expert team to strive towards ever-higher standards and deliver even better services to our customers in China and Asia Pacific.”

“China’s LED industry has enjoyed fast growth with ever higher demand for testing speed and diversity. This makes it imperative for us to work more closely with system integrators and end users,” Dr. Sun added.

Ocean Optics’ solutions for quantifying light meet a number of parameter measurement and quality monitoring challenges on factory production lines. Its products cover the complete LED manufacturing chain – from epitaxial wafer and wafer material probing, to chip sorting, to the testing of finished LEDs – accurately and efficiently measuring and controlling wavelength, thinness, reflectance, transmittance, color temperature, and color purity.

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Ocean Optics Expands Indian Operations with India Sales Manager

Dunedin, Fla. (October 9, 2012) – Ocean Optics has appointed Hemchandra Sane its new Sales Manager in India.

Hemchandra Sane, India Sales Manager, Ocean Optics.

Hemchandra Sane, India Sales Manager, Ocean Optics.

Based in Mumbai Sane will expand Ocean Optics’ current sales network to further improve local service and support for customers in India. He will help and guide both customers and distributors in introducing Ocean Optics equipment and provide support with installation and training. Ocean Optics’ product range includes miniature spectrometers, light sources and accessories used in universities, R&D labs and industrial online process applications.

A seasoned sales executive, Sane has two decades’ experience working for various Indian and British companies selling engineering products into India. He joins Ocean Optics from Grainger India, where he worked with various large industrial companies. Prior to that, he was the Sales Manager for RS Components and Controls India. Sane has a BE in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Marketing Management, both from Mumbai University.

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Ocean Optics Appoints New President

Richard Pollard promoted at Dunedin-based photonics manufacturer
Dunedin, FL (October 1, 2012) – Ocean Optics, has appointed Richard Pollard to the position of company President. Pollard’s promotion follows the move of former President Kevin Chittim to positions on Ocean Optics’ board and as Divisional Acquisition Executive for Ocean Optics’ parent company, Halma plc.

Richard Pollard, President of Ocean Optics.

Richard Pollard, President of Ocean Optics.

Pollard joined Ocean Optics in 2006 as Vice President, Operations, and was promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 2008, applying his international engineering and management skills to lead global sales activities and new product introductions. His career has spanned a wide range of industries including electronics (Viasystems Tyneside Ltd., Tyne & Wear, UK), automotive (Ford Motor Company, Essex, UK), and medical products (Keeler Ltd, Berkshire, UK). He joined Ocean Optics from sister Halma group company, Radcom Technologies (Hampshire, UK). A professional Chartered Engineer, Pollard holds an MBA from Open University (Buckinghamshire, UK) and a BEng degree from Brunel University (Middlesex, UK).

Prior to his tenure at Ocean Optics, Chittim served as Chief Executive Officer at sister Halma company, Labsphere, leading the company through a period of explosive growth. Before joining Labsphere in 2007, he held executive positions at Radiant Imaging, Melles Griot, Newport and Spectra Physics.

“Halma looks towards growth in all of our business and especially in Photonics,” commented Robert Randelman, Divisional Chief Executive of Halma’s photonics businesses. “Kevin’s broad market experience will be invaluable in our continued search and selection of the right acquisition targets. Richard’s tenure with Ocean Optics, and experience in other industries make him a perfect choice to carry on the Ocean Optics heritage of innovation and customer focus while bringing new energy to its future growth.”

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Dr. Adrian Guckian to Lead Ocean Optics’ Sensors Business Unit

Dunedin, FL (September 11, 2012) – Ocean Optics  has appointed Adrian Guckian, Ph.D., Director of its Sensors business unit.

Dr. Adrian Guckian, Director Ocean Optics’ Sensors Business Unit

Dr. Adrian Guckian, Director Ocean Optics’ Sensors Business Unit

As Director of the Sensors business unit Guckian will lead the company’s global sensors team in developing new products, such as high-volume, low-cost sensor platforms for a number of new markets. An alternative to traditional chemical sensing, Ocean Optics’ pH and O2 optical sensors are used in a range of applications including life sciences, quality control, pharmaceutical processing and food and beverage manufacturing. With a variety of sampling options and detection technologies, the products can be used in the lab, field and incorporated into other devices by OEMs.

Guckian spent five years with Gas Sensor Solutions (Dublin, Ireland), serving as Chemicals and Materials Manager and later as General Manager. Subsequently, he has worked as a management consultant in the biotech and healthcare fields, and most recently worked as the Head of School of Business and Law at Dublin Business School (Dublin, Ireland), Ireland’s largest private third level institution. Guckian holds a Bachelor of Science in Pure and Applied Chemistry and a Doctorate in Inorganic Chemistry from Dublin City University (Dublin, Ireland), as well as an Executive MBA from the Smurfit School of Business, University College Dublin.

To learn more about Ocean Optics sensor offerings, visit http://www.oceanopticssensors.com/.


Ocean Optics Spectrometers Land Safely on Mars

Curiosity Rover with Ocean Optics instruments onboard survives rigorous descent to surface of the red planet
Dunedin, FL (August 5, 2012) – Three Ocean Optics instruments have completed their eight month journey to Mars to study soil composition as part of the ChemCam mission. NASA’s Mars Science Lab rover, Curiosity, was launched last November carrying customized Ocean Optics HR2000 spectrometers.

Three customized Ocean Optics HR2000 spectrometers have completed their journey to Mars.

Three customized Ocean Optics HR2000 spectrometers have completed their journey to Mars.

The Curiosity Rover has the most advanced scientific instrumentation ever used to study the surface of Mars, and weighing in at 1 ton, has the heaviest payload. The 7 minute descent through Mars’ atmosphere relied on a complex landing sequence never before attempted. To withstand the rigors of space travel and descent, the onboard Ocean Optics spectrometers were modified to handle extreme temperature ranges, radiation, shock and vibration.

After 14 tense minutes of waiting (the amount of time it takes for a signal to reach NASA’s mission control from Mars), NASA was able to confirm that Curiosity survived the descent intact. Shortly after, it beamed back the first pictures from the surface of the Gale Crater where it landed. Now, the work begins for the Ocean Optics spectrometers as the rover journeys to Mount Sharp, a 3 mile high mountain inside the crater, collecting data as it goes.

The three modular HR2000 high-resolution miniature fiber optic spectrometers will study Martian rock and soil composition using Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS). Each ChemCam spectrometer is configured to detect elemental signatures over a different wavelength of light: 240-336 nm, 380-470 nm, and 470-850 nm. The use of the three spectrometers simplifies the design and creates redundancy, as many elements under study have spectral lines in more than one of the spectral ranges covered by the three units.

Ocean Optics equipment has been used by NASA researchers for missions both on Earth and in space. A custom Ocean Optics spectrometer named ALICE was instrumental in detecting the presence of water ice on the moon during the LCROSS mission. The company’s modular Jaz spectrometer scaled Mt. Everest with a team that included NASA astronaut Scott Parazynski to measure solar irradiance at extreme altitude.

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Ocean Optics Offers R&D Funding with Blue Ocean Grants

Over a quarter of a million dollars available to explore ideas involving optical sensing
Dunedin, FL (July 5, 2012) – Ocean Optics has opened the application period for the second year of its highly successful Blue Ocean Grants program (www.blueoceangrants.com). The program seeks innovative and novel proposals that solve challenging problems and improve the world using optical sensing. Applicants from all disciplines are encouraged to apply before the September 1, 2012 deadline.


The program is designed to facilitate open innovation and spur the development of new optical sensing technologies with potential for market commercialization. The international program is open to applicants from academia and industry around the world. 2011 winners had a diverse range of ideas with extremely high quality proposals ranging from novel spectrometer and spectral imaging architectures to emerging applications as diverse as low cost surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy, early prostate cancer detection techniques, and novel nano-liter microfluidic chip architectures.

The Blue Ocean grants are divided into two phases. Phase I grants are issued to fund initial evaluation and development of ideas and technologies to the proof of concept phase. Phase II grants will be issued to nurture a proposed technology through proof of concept in a way that enables the potential of market commercialization.

Last year the company originally planned to award up to 10 Phase I grants of up to $10,000, but expanded that number to 13 grants when the grant committee, made up of Ocean Optics Chief Technology Officer Jason M. Eichenholz and independent photonics experts, felt strongly compelled to find funding for three additional  worthy recipients. In addition, another seven strong submissions were awarded development grants. Development grant recipients were given or loaned Ocean Optics equipment to facilitate progression of their grant ideas, enabling them to be submitted to both last year’s Phase II program as well as this year’s Phase I process.

“The Blue Ocean Grants program is a unique combination of open innovation and crowd sourcing from all disciplines,” explains Ocean Optics Chief Technology Officer Jason M. Eichenholz. “As 2011 was our first year, we didn’t quite know what to expect and were elated by the quality and quantity of the applications from around the world. We’re currently evaluating the strong proposals from last year’s winners to determine who will move on to Phase II funding.”

Grant awards will again be determined by Eichenholz and an expanded panel of independent photonics experts, based on technical merit, potential commercial viability, and the ability to change the world for the better via optical sensing. The simple application asks two fundamental questions: What is the idea and how will it be implemented or tested?

To learn more about the program and to apply, visit http://blueoceangrants.com/, or phone Ocean Optics at +1 727-733-2447.

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