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.

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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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Ocean Optics and Tornado Medical Systems Partner on New Line of Spectrometers

High-resolution, high-sensitivity spectrometers for OEM, distributor and retail customers
Dunedin, FL (April 16, 2012) – Ocean Optics and Tornado Medical Systems have formed a co-development, manufacturing and distribution partnership for a broad line of spectrometers based on Tornado’s High Throughput Virtual Slit (“HTVS”) technology. The HTVS will form the core of a new line of high performance spectrometers being co-developed by the two companies and sold by Ocean Optics.

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The HTVS technology overcomes the fundamental trade-off between resolution and light throughput in spectrometer design, without the use of moving parts or electronics. It is adaptable to a multitude of spectrometer designs and easily adaptable to different detectors, gratings and other critical spectrometer components, allowing spectrometer manufacturers to customize their designs specifically to customer needs.

Combining Tornado’s technology and optical design expertise with Ocean Optics’ long-standing track record of reliable and cost effective manufacturing, will result in a full line of high performance spectrometers for Ocean Optics’ OEM, distributor and retail customers.

Tornado’s Chairman and CEO, Stefan Larson, Ph.D., stated, “We are very excited to partner with a proven market leader like Ocean Optics. Their world-class manufacturing capabilities and global market reach are a perfect match for our technology.”

HTVS technology routinely increases light throughput of spectrometers by 10-15 times without compromising resolution. Richard Pollard, Chief Revenue Officer at Ocean Optics explains the promise of this technology, “The spectrometers co-developed by the companies will be, by far, the best performing and most cost effective on the market. The new product offerings will enable a novel way of delivering application performance across the board in optical spectroscopy.”

Co-development work is already underway and the first units are expected to be available by Fall 2012. Ocean Optics and Tornado will be attending Analytica, with product information available during the show and shortly thereafter at www.oceanoptics.com and www.tornado-medical.com. Interested parties are encouraged to visit the Ocean Optics Booth in Hall A1, # 127/224 at the New Munich Trade Fair Center in Munich, Germany from April 16-19, 2012.

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Ocean Optics Expands Latin American Operations

Marcio Siqueira appointed Regional Sales Manager Brazil
Dunedin, FL (February 23, 2012) – To better serve its Latin American customers, Ocean Optics , the industry leader in miniature photonics, has appointed Marcio Siqueira to the newly created position Regional Sales Manager Brazil.

Marcio Siqueira, Regional Sales Manager Brazil, Ocean Optics

Marcio Siqueira, Regional Sales Manager Brazil, Ocean Optics

Based in São Paulo, Brazil, Siqueira will work with customers and distributors throughout Brazil and Latin America, offering educational and sales support for Ocean Optics’ complete product line. He will facilitate the growth of the company in these territories, helping clients select, use and install the company’s spectrometers, chemical sensors, analytical instrumentation, and metrology equipment. Siqueira will also continue to develop Ocean Optics’ distributor network, training new and existing distributors, and increasing the company’s conference and tradeshow presence.

A seasoned sales executive in the analytical equipment market, Siqueira joins Ocean Optics from Hanna Brasil Imp. e Exp Ltda, where he was most recently Sales Manager for Brazil. Prior to that, he gained technical sales experience through positions with Interlab Distr. Scientific Products S / A and Medlab Diagnostic Products Ltda. To serve customers across the region, he speaks Portuguese, Spanish, and English. Siqueira earned a degree in Economic Sciences from Sant’Anna University (São Paulo City, Brazil).

“Brazil is a tremendously exciting market for spectroscopy, with increasing research and development activity,” explains Richard Pollard, Ocean Optics’ Chief Revenue Officer. “Ocean Optics’ expansion into this region, beginning with Marcio’s appointment, will improve support for our customers and partners in Brazil and neighboring countries.”

To learn more about Ocean Optics, customers in Latin America may contact Siqueira at Marcio.siqueira@oceanoptics.com or + 55-11-9847-4707.

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Ocean Optics Names Winner of 2012 Young Investigator Award

Cash prize and grant awarded during SPIE BiOS/Photonics West 2012 conference
Dunedin, FL (February 2, 2012) – Ocean Optics, the industry leader in miniature photonics, has named Nathan J. Withers the winner of the SPIE 2012 Young Investigator Award sponsored by the company.

Young Investigator award winner, Nathan J. Withers (left) with Ocean Optics’ president, Kevin Chittim.

Young Investigator award winner, Nathan J. Withers (left) with Ocean Optics’ president, Kevin Chittim.

The Young Investigator Award is presented to a researcher who is no more than five years out of school and submits the best juried paper as part of the Colloidal Nanocrystals for Biomedical Applications VII conference. The award was presented during the session on January 23. The honor includes a $1,000 investigator gift and a company grant to the investigator’s advisor.

As part of a research team at the University of New Mexico that included Yekaterina Brandt, Antonio C. Rivera, Nathaniel C. Cook, Leisha M. Armijo and Marek Osinski, Withers was the lead author of the paper “Effects of LaF3:Ce nanoparticles capped with polyethylene glycol on human astrocytoma in vitro.”  The team investigated the cytotoxicity of Cerium-doped lanthanum fluoride colloidal nanocrystals used to improve absorption in radiation therapy.

Ocean Optics’ own history as a company founded on research innovation drives its philosophy of rewarding academic efforts. “This award, along with our Blue Ocean Grants and Challenges program (www.blueoceangrants.com), aims to recognize the role of fundamental research in shaping the photonics world,” said Rob Morris, Director of Marketing at Ocean Optics. “This year’s SPIE participants affirm the promise that young investigators represent for scientific discovery, innovation and industry growth.”

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Ocean Optics Announces 2011 Video and Photo Contest Winners

Entries spanned plant canopy reflectance to prosthesis development 
Dunedin, FL (January 12, 2012) – After several months of competition, Ocean Optics has chosen the winners of its 2011 global video and photo contest (www.oceanphotochallenge.com). The Grand Prize in the video category was awarded to John Giddings, for his entry Telelumen at Mt. Fuji Summit, GOT IT!. In the photo category, Field Plot of Dreams, submitted by Mina Talajoor, took the Grand Prize.

To create the winning video, Giddings made an arduous two-day trek to the summit of Japan’s Mt. Fuji. Using two Ocean Optics’ USB4000 spectrometers he captured spectral data of the light at the top of the summit from dawn to dusk over three days. The short video captures Giddings’ first impressions of the “Spiritual Light” of the Mt. Fuji sunrise -the fabled sunrise which earned Japan the moniker “The Land of the Rising Sun.”

Axel Emmermann (a repeat Runner-Up winner from 2010), was awarded the First Runner-Up video prize for Jaz – The Versatile One, demonstrating how to customize the slit size on Ocean Optics’ Jaz spectrometer. Winner of the Runner-Up prize, Bill Hughes, enlisted the help of his students at Park Forest Middle School to create The Archaic Technology Blues, illustrating the need for Ocean Optics’ equipment to engage his tech-savvy students.

Grand Prize winning photo Field Plot of Dreams, from Mina Talajoor, Duke Pauli and Jay Kalous.

Grand Prize winning photo Field Plot of Dreams, from Mina Talajoor, Duke Pauli and Jay Kalous.

The Grand Prize photo, Field Plot of Dreams, from Mina Talajoor and researchers Duke Pauli and Jay Kalous, documents a project aimed at combating world hunger. Using the Jaz spectrometer, the group is measuring light reflected off the canopies of wheat and barley to identify plants with the most advantageous characteristics for breeding.

Four additional photos were awarded prizes. Paul Tanner won the First Runner-Up prize for his entry Color, capturing the high tech process of matching ear prosthesis color pigment to that of human skin, using an Ocean Optics spectrometer and light source. The entries honored with Runner-Up prizes were: Susan DeVries, Male 15 Gets Probed; John Giddings, Telelumen at Mt. Fuji Summit Setup B; and Thomas Mazanec, Climbing for Eagle Egg Measurements.

All of the winning videos and photos can be seen on the contest website at www.oceanphotochallenge.com.

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Ocean Optics Spectrometers Head to Mars

ChemCam instrument launches on Curiosity Rover to study rock and soil composition of the red planet
Dunedin, FL (December 8, 2011) – Three Ocean Optics  instruments have begun their eight month journey to Mars. Customized HR2000 spectrometers are a part of the ChemCam unit on NASA’s Mars Science Lab rover, Curiosity, launched November 26, 2011 from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Spectrometers from Ocean Optics will enable rapid sample analysis on Mars.

Spectrometers from Ocean Optics will enable rapid sample analysis on Mars.

Ocean Optics supplied three modular HR2000 high-resolution miniature fiber optic spectrometers that were configured for analysis of Martian rock and soil composition using Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS). A laser mounted to the mast unit of the ChemCam instrument can fire at targets up to nine meters away, generating a series of laser pulses, the light from which is collected for the LIBS analysis.

The modular design of the HR2000, with selectable optical bench options such as detector, grating and entrance aperture (slit), made it an ideal choice for the mission. 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.

Another reason the HR2000 was chosen for this mission was its reliability – a must for remote space operation where maintenance is impossible. Because the spectrometer contains no moving parts to fail, it can withstand the G forces associated with space travel. Additionally, the spectrometers were modified to handle extreme temperature ranges, radiation, shock and vibration.

The Curiosity Rover has been described by NASA as having the most advanced scientific instrumentation ever used to study the surface of Mars. With the analysis enabled by Ocean Optics’ equipment, sample analysis is exponentially faster. On prior missions, the time required to determine composition of a single sample was two to three days; ChemCam’s output is anticipated to be one dozen compositional measurements per day.

This is not the first space voyage for Ocean Optics equipment. In 2009, the company also collaborated on the ALICE spectrometer, which was instrumental in detecting the presence of water ice on the moon. Other NASA researchers have utilized Ocean Optics spectrometers for applications both on Earth and in space.

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Ocean Optics Expands OEM Team

Dr. David Creasey promoted to Director of OEM Business
Dunedin, FL (November 4, 2011) – To meet the growing global demand for its OEM engineering services, Ocean Optics (www.OceanOptics.com), the industry leader in miniature photonics has appointed David Creasey, Ph.D., to the newly created position Director of OEM Business. Creasey will lead the company’s dedicated OEM sales and engineering teams in providing expert integration support to original equipment manufacturers.

David Creasey, Ph.D., Director of OEM Business for Ocean Optics.

David Creasey, Ph.D., Director of OEM Business for Ocean Optics.

As Director of OEM Business, Creasey will lead the global OEM engineering and sales teams, located at Ocean Optics’ ISO 9001-2008 certified manufacturing facilities in the United States, Europe and Asia Pacific. Ocean Optics offers a variety of spectrometer models, custom photometric systems, light sources, sample holders, and optical fibers in thousands of configurations, supported by a team of engineers poised to address any mechanical, software, optical, or electronic integration need. Ocean OEM offers integrated system and sub-system manufacturing, inventory control of customer owned material, and lean manufacturing practices such as Kanban releases for JIT shipment.

Creasey joined Ocean Optics in May, 2010 as OEM Sales Manager for EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) and has achieved significant growth in these regions, working with customers from product inception to product release. Prior to joining Ocean Optics, he served as the OEM Sales Manager for Photonic Solutions in Edinburgh, Scotland, and earlier as a Development Engineer for BAE Systems in Southampton, England. He received his BSc. (Hons.) and PhD in Chemistry from the University of Leeds (United Kingdom).

To learn more about Ocean Optics OEM capabilities, visit www.oceanoem.com, or contact David Creasey at david.creasey@oceanoptics.eu or +44 7825959138.

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Ocean Optics Offers Next Day Shipping Guarantee

More than 500 spectrometers and accessories covered
Dunedin, FL (October 19, 2011) – Ocean Optics, inventor of the world’s first miniature spectrometer, has implemented a new Next Day Shipping Guarantee on more than 500 items in the Ocean Optics product line – from custom-configured spectrometers to sampling accessories. If the company fails to meet its commitment, customers are entitled to a 15% discount on the order or applicable discount toward a future order.

Next Day Shipping available from Ocean Optics available more than 500 products

Next Day Shipping available from Ocean Optics available more than 500 products

With its Next Day Shipping Guarantee, Ocean Optics is helping to improve the customer experience by reducing delivery turnaround times typical of the miniature spectrometer industry. The company already provides an industry-best three-year warranty on most spectrometers and accessories, as well as online shopping, live chat support and a dedicated Total Technical Services team. In addition, Ocean Optics has worldwide electro-optical design and manufacturing capabilities and is ISO 9001:2008 certified in the U.S., Europe and China.

The Ocean Optics Next Day Shipping commitment guarantees that all qualifying orders received before 4 p.m. (ET) Mondays through Fridays will be shipped by the next business day from Ocean Optics USA directly to qualifying customers anywhere in the world. International shipping rates and fees apply. The commitment does not apply to orders shipped from Ocean Optics regional offices outside the U.S. or to orders processed through Ocean Optics distributors or agents. Visit Ocean Optics’ website for full terms and conditions and shop today for equipment shipped tomorrow.

For additional information on terms and conditions of the Ocean Optics Next Day Shipping Guarantee, visit http://www.oceanoptics.com/nextday.asp.

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Ocean Optics Awards Phase I Blue Ocean Grants

Open innovation award program expanded amid exceptional response
Dunedin, Florida (October 17, 2011) – Ocean Optics has named the Phase I winners of its first Blue Ocean Grants and Challenges (www.blueoceangrants.com), an open innovation program seeking novel ideas and technologies with the ultimate potential to change the world for the better and eventual market commercialization. The quantity of quality applications was so impressive that the company issued more grants than planned and created an additional category of developmental grants.

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. The company originally planned to award up to 10 Phase I grants of up to $10,000, but expanded that number to 13 grants in five different countries 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 an additional three worthy recipients.

In addition, another seven strong submissions were awarded development grants. Development grant recipients will be given or loaned Ocean Optics equipment to facilitate progression of their grant ideas, enabling them to be submitted for either Phase II of this year’s program or next year’s Phase I funding. 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. Up to two Phase II grants of up to $100,000 each will be awarded in early 2012.

“We were very impressed with the response to the Blue Ocean Grant Program. We had over 100 submissions from multiple countries, with a diverse range of photonics technologies and applications,” said Eichenholz. “The submissions quality was spectacular and our winners demonstrate the power of optical sensing to change the world. We’re excited and honored to help facilitate development of all of these amazing ideas and anticipate some game changing future products as a result.”

Recipients were chosen based on ability to change the world for the better, out of the box thinking, technical merit and potential commercial viability.

Phase I grant winners are:
Jarkko Antila, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, MEMS-based Mid-IR spectrometer
Christopher Fraker, Diabetes Research Institute, Tailored oxygen levels for cell culturing
Matthew Gunn, Aberystwyth University, Economical hyperspectral imager
Guifang Li, CREOL/The School of Optics at the University of Central Florida, The College of Optics & Photonics, Novel tunable mid IR laser sources
Zhiwen Liu, The Pennsylvania State University, G-Fresnel optical spectrometer miniaturization
Hans-Peter Loock, Queen’s University, Fiber-Optic mercury probe
Robert Pal, Durham University / FScan LTD, Handheld rapid prostate cancer screening instrument
Bill Parker, Creative Microsystems, Nanoliter optical sensing
Nadia Pervez, Chromation Partners, Novel photonic crystal spectrometer
Scott Rowe, Ocular Prognostics, LLC, Macular pigment measurement
Maurizio Tormen, CSEM SA, MEMS wavemeter
Ian White, University of Maryland, Inkjet-printed SERS dipsticks
Liang Zhang, University of Washington, Detection system for early childhood caries

Development grant winners are:
Kristen Maitland, Texas A&M University, Spectrally encoded depth scans for early cancer detection
Dominic Murphy, Fusion Photonics Ltd., Fiber fourier transform spectrometer
Dustin Ritter, Engineering World Health organization – Texas A&M chapter, Medical oxygen concentrator measurement system
Frank Rutten, Keele University, Rapid on-site detection of asbestos
Eric Smith, FMIP, Realtime spectroscopy for the produce industry
Kate Sugden, Aston University, Fiber Bragg grating sensing using new Ocean Optics spectrometers
Bo Yang, USF College of Marine Science, Low cost optical pH sensors

Ocean Optics would like to thank the following grant committee members for their time and expertise in reviewing applications: Steve Anderson of SPIE, professor David Brady of Duke University, Dr. Daniel L. Farkas of Spectral Molecular Imaging, Dr. Thomas Giallorenzi of OSA and the Naval Research Labs, professor Bahaa E. A. Saleh of CREOL/The School of Optics at the University of Central Florida and professor Andreas Tünnermann of Fraunhofer IOF.

To see full abstracts on the award-winning ideas, visit http://blueoceangrants.com/.

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Ocean Optics Appoints New President

Kevin Chittim takes helm at Dunedin-based photonics manufacturer
Dunedin, FL (September 7, 2011) – Ocean Optics, the world’s largest manufacturer of miniature spectrometers and related spectroscopy equipment has appointed Kevin Chittim to the position of company President. Chittim’s appointment follows the move of former President Robert Randelman to Divisional Chief Executive for Ocean Optics’ parent company, Halma p.l.c.

Kevin Chittim, President of Ocean Optics

Kevin Chittim, President of Ocean Optics

Prior to his appointment at Ocean Optics, Chittim served as Chief Executive Officer at sister Halma company, Labsphere. During his tenure at Labsphere, Chittim led the company through a period of explosive growth, including a successful merger with SphereOptics in 2010, and establishment of a wholly owned subsidiary in Shanghai, China. Before joining Labsphere in 2007, he held executive positions at Radiant Imaging, Melles Griot, Newport and Spectra Physics.

Of the appointment, Randelman says, “Kevin brings significant knowledge of the photonics marketplace and the potential to make a substantial impact in broadening the range of applications and bringing them to market faster throughout the world. In addition, as our organization grows Kevin will be an excellent mentor and coach to develop our leaders of tomorrow.”

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