Tuesday, July 28, 2015

UCF Awarded Department of Energy Grant to Inspire Collegiate Clean Energy Entrepreneurs and Accelerate Cleantech Innovation in the United States

To:  Florida Photonics Cluster members
A news announcement from one of our FPC members and great supporters that may be of interest to you and/or some of your colleagues.

Jim Pearson, FPC Executive Director

Good afternoon!
The University of Central Florida (UCF) has been awarded a grant from the Department of Energy (DoE) to help inspire the next generation of clean energy entrepreneurs. UCF will serve as one of eight regional Cleantech University Prize (Cleantech UP) competition sites and will facilitate a yearly collegiate challenge and cultivate an ecosystem to support clean energy entrepreneurs from Florida and across the Southeast United States. Additional funding details and program activities are anticipated to be announced soon. Please see the full press release below. Thank you and please contact me with any questions.
Best Regards,
Christa Santos

July 27, 2015

News Release  
For Immediate Release

UCF Awarded Department of Energy Grant to Inspire Collegiate Clean Energy Entrepreneurs and Accelerate Cleantech Innovation in the United States
University to serve as one of eight regional sites to support the Cleantech University Prize, a new DoE initiative
designed to cultivate an ecosystem of cleantech innovation and commercialization

(ORLANDO, FL) –The Central Florida region is on its way to becoming one of the country’s premier areas for the development of innovative clean energy technologies and solutions, due to the efforts of the University of Central Florida (UCF), with support from the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE).  UCF recently has been awarded a grant from the DoE to help inspire the next generation of clean energy entrepreneurs and cultivate an ecosystem of innovation and commercialization in the region.

Through the recently launched Cleantech University Prize (Cleantech UP), a new DoE-supported initiative to accelerate the rate of clean energy innovation in the nation, UCF will serve as one of eight regional Cleantech UP competition sites and will facilitate a yearly collegiate challenge and cultivate an ecosystem to support the clean energy entrepreneurs from Florida and the entire Southeast United States.  Additional funding details and program activities are anticipated to be announced soon.  

“We are excited to be selected by the DoE to serve in a leadership role in driving clean energy innovation,” said Thomas O’Neal, PhD, associate vice president at UCF’s Office of Research and Commercialization.  “Cleantech UP is an exciting new effort that will allow us to continue the momentum in building a clean energy infrastructure within the region and inspiring students in this field.”

The UCF Office of Research and Commercialization (UCF ORC) has extensive experience coordinating cleantech-oriented programs and competitions and cultivating appropriate support networks and infrastructure. In addition, the university features a history of implementing high impact, entrepreneurially focused curricula.   Most recently, UCF worked closely with the DoE on implementing two cleantech focused efforts –an annual cleantech accelerator which was designed to identify and support promising cleantech technologies throughout the Southeast, and the Florida Cleantech Acceleration Network (FL-CAN), which created a statewide support network and “proof of concept” center for cleantech entrepreneurs.  These programs served more than 200 ventures that went on to raise more than $5M in follow-on funding on their paths to commercialization.

As a result of the success of these previous programs and its reputation within the regional cleantech community, UCF will soon launch its Cleantech UP effort, explained Jack Henkel, assistant director of the Venture Accelerator Lab within the (UCF ORC).

“Our annual collegiate clean energy competition through Cleantech UP will be branded Megawatt Ventures,” said Henkel, who is helping to coordinate the program.  “We’re going to draw upon our experiences and the best practices that we established with our previous efforts to successfully encourage student-led ventures to develop renewable energy and energy efficiency related technologies, to compete in this annual competition.”

Each year, the Megawatt Ventures competition will recruit ten collegiate teams from throughout the Southeast to compete for $50K in seed funding and an opportunity to advance to a national competition and earn additional funding. UCF will utilize its network of established relationships to promote the Challenge, gather industry and technology specific mentors and expand the network further to attract the most talented teams in the region.
Through their participation in the program, the teams will be provided educational and training materials to help commercialize their technology with a focus on startup and growth strategies for new energy ventures. Teams will receive personalized strategic business coaching, introductions to potential customers and partners, investment pitch guidance and technology transfer support services.

“A key aspect of Megawatt Ventures is its focus us on bringing together investors, experienced entrepreneurs, faculty-researchers, students, regional incubation programs and industry partners,” said Dr. O’Neal. “This aggregation of relevant stakeholders, combined with the seed funding opportunities, will increase the likelihood of success for the companies, and will create a sustainable support infrastructure for participants that will extend beyond the competition.”

UCF will work with the national Cleantech UP Hub, Spark Clean Energy, as well as the seven other regional Cleantech UP Collegiate Competitions hosted by the California Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, Clean Energy Trust, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Rice University, Rutgers and the University of California-Berkeley.
For additional information please contact Jack Henkel, MegaWatt Ventures coordinator atjack@ucf.edu or by phone 407-882-0663.


About the UCF Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship:

The University of Central Florida Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (UCF CIE) is a university wide program consolidating and coordinating major innovation and entrepreneurship support activities with the objectives of: Education, Research and Outreach. Its goal is to leverage university and regional partnerships to create an effective entrepreneurial support infrastructure in the Central Florida Region, with a mission to promote innovation, wealth creation, and economic vitality. The UCF CIE programs include:  Florida Small Business Development Center at UCF, GrowFL, UCF’s Business Incubation Program, Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, Innovation Corps (I-Corps), Office of Technology Transfer, and the Venture Accelerator Lab.  Connect at cie.ucf.edu.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Seminar: "Threshold Power and Fiber Degradation Induced MI in High Power Fiber Amplifiers Based on LMA Fiber" by Nathan Kurz 7.24.15/1:00-2:00pm/ CREOL RM 103

Seminar: "Threshold Power and Fiber Degradation Induced MI in High Power Fiber Amplifiers Based on LMA Fiber" by Nathan Kurz
Friday, July 24, 2015 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
CREOL Room 103

Celebrating the International Year of Light 2015

Nathan Kurz
Lockheed Martin Laser Systems

We report on two types of modal instabilities (MI) observed in high power Yb amplifiers based on Large Mode Area Fibers. The first MI is observed as a decrease in beam quality or reduced core light output as higher order modes leak into the fiber cladding.  The second type of MI is observed for certain cases where the fiber initially operates without any sign of MI but then degrades over an extended operating time. Experiments on degraded fiber show a wavelength dependent permanent change in the degraded fiber with a memory of the original operating wavelength.

Nathan Kurz received his PhD in 2010 from University of Washington working with laser-cooled trapped barium ions for quantum computation, followed by a post doc working on a high precision electric dipole moment search in atomic mercury.  He has been working at Lockheed Martin for three years in support of high power programs specifically focusing on improving the overall efficiency and robustness of fiber lasers for a fieldable beam-combined system.

For additional information:
Dr. Kenneth Schepler
Research Professor

Thursday, July 9, 2015

LPTH Press Release: LightPath Technologies Announces Major Growth for its Custom Designed Specialty Products

LightPath Technologies Announces Major Growth for its Custom Designed Specialty Products

Specialty Products group sales has more than doubled from prior year driven by demand for merchandise used in medical applications for laser cataract removal and other applications

For Immediate Release:

ORLANDO, FL – July 9, 2015 --LightPath Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: LPTH) (“LightPath,” the “Company” or “we”), a leading vertically integrated global manufacturerdistributor and integrator of proprietary optical and infrared componentsand high-level optical sub-systems, announced today that it has experienced significant growth as a result of  orders with several original equipment manufacturers to produce high volume custom designed optical lens products.  This recurring value added business has contributed to the growth of the Company’s Specialty Products segment which in 2015 has more than doubled in sales as compared to the same period in 2014.  The segment now accounts for more than $2.9 million in annual revenue. 

The three primary product segments for LightPath include Custom Design Specialty Products, Aspheric Molded Lenses and Infrared.  The growth of the Specialty Products group highlights LightPath’s capabilities, technical expertise and the positive effect of the change in sales strategy announced in February of this year. Sales of optical sub systems, mounted lenses, optical arrays, Gradium lenses and Fiber Delivery Systems, which comprise this segment, has grown 161% in annualized revenues for LightPath.

Jim Gaynor, President and Chief Executive Officer of LightPath, commented, “Due to the continued efforts to improve our sales strategy, ongoing product innovation and value added to our customers we are seeing the results of these energies in obtaining an increased number of orders with major defense, medical, scientific, laser tools and measurement system partners around the world.  Our total addressable markets have been expanding and new opportunities are being created for continued incremental growth.”

LightPath has been selected as the OEM optics design and manufacture partner for increasingly complex and challenging technical product developments and projects.  Offering a talented team of experienced optical designers and engineers, LightPath is able to provide lens design, prototyping, testing and precision lens manufacturing services of the highest quality and excellent value.  Smaller sized lenses are increasingly being sought after for confocal microscopy, flow cytometry, DNA sequencing, and medical imaging applications.  Based on research published in the Laser Focus World market report in April 2015, products developed for the medical industry alone have resulted in markedly increased demand for optical product technologies, which are available from LightPath from its operations in the United States and China.

LightPath continues to develop improved capabilities for its product line that will cover most requirements in the commercial and military high-volume and small-size application markets.  LightPath is working closely with customer partners to develop both build-to-print and custom optics for new markets.  Product descriptions and other information on these products can be found at www.lightpath.com (click here).

About LightPath Technologies:

LightPath Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: LPTH) provides optics and photonics solutions for the industrial, defense, telecommunications, testing and measurement, and medical industries. LightPath designs, manufactures, and distributes optical and infrared components including molded glass aspheric lenses and assemblies, infrared lenses and thermal imaging assemblies, fused fiber collimators, and gradient index GRADIUM® lenses. LightPath also offers custom optical sub-systems, including full engineering design support.  For more information, visit www.lightpath.com.

This news release includes statements that constitute forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding our ability to expand our presence in certain markets, future sales growth, continuing reductions in cash usage and implementation of new distribution channels. This information may involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, factors detailed by LightPath Technologies, Inc. in its public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Except as required under the federal securities laws and the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission, we do not have any intention or obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.