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Attodyne Inc., Canada

Question 1: Describe the profound impact your technology – as part of an end-user product – has had on Society. How has the population been impacted by your technology. This could be behavioral, economical, societal, etc.
Attodyne’s revolutionary air-cooled APL picosecond lasers are uniquely compact and affordable with a form factor closer to that of a conventional nanosecond-uv laser rather than an ultrafast laser. This allows advanced manufacturers to use the precision of ultrafast cold ablation in processes where it would not have been possible before.  The process of cold ablation avoids the heat damage that leads to burrs and recast when cutting with conventional lasers. As consumer devices grow increasingly complex, the precision required for manufacturing continues to increase rapidly. A critical driver for picosecond lasers is the continuing need to manufacture higher value added products within a smaller footprint. New manufacturing processes involve increasingly complex materials and require greater precision and reliable automation.

Question 2: Tell us about how your technology is unique?  What makes it stand out? How do you differentiate it from other similar technologies?
Attodyne’s APL series offer highly stable and durable picosecond lasers, with flexible specifications: the repetition rates can be anywhere from 1 Hz to 1MHz with pulse energies going to as high as 250uJ. The size of this powerful machine is only one third of that of the competition, and it is air cooled, which eliminates the complications associated with maintaining water cooled systems. Attodyne lasers are so robust that you can drop the laser and it will still work like a charm. 

The unique form factor makes them ideal for processes and applications where other existing picosecond lasers just don’t fit.

Question 3: When first launched, did your technology make a transformational change for the end-user or incremental changes by improving a current technology?  Describe this.
Attodyne picosecond lasers are a practical substitution for femtosecond lasers in many applications. An important example is the manufacturing of bioabsorbable stents, an innovative surgical technology that eliminates the risk of surgical complications. The lives of patients are significantly improved, since bioabsorbable stents reduce recovery time and eliminate the need for further interventions. Also, imaging of the vessels by CT or MRI is possible since there is no residual metal shielding, which allows proper monitoring of the patient. Most surgeons agree that a bioabsorbable stent that can dissolve in the body in 6 months is a paradigm shift in the world of coronary artery intervention.

Question 4: Give a specific example (with company names) of the buying chain for your product/technology once you sell it to the next level buyer.  Provide an example of the succession of companies your product goes through, ultimately to get to an end-user.  Example:  We produce a component that we sell to a laser systems manufacturer (name the company) who sells it to a medical OEM (name the company), who then sells it to a hospital (name the hospital).
We manufacture a picosecond laser that is sold to system integrators. The system integrators build a full laser machining system which is then sold to the end user who uses it to e.g. manufacture bio-absorbable stents.

Question 5: In which vertical market(s) would you classify the end-users of this technology?

Question 6: Give us your one sentence “elevator pitch” you would use to tell a non-technical person about your technology and the critical role it plays in Society.
As consumer devices grow increasingly complex, the precision required for manufacturing continues to increase rapidly. Picosecond lasers allow new manufacturing processes with increasingly complex materials to drive the evolution of cutting edge consumer products such as smart-phones and displays.

Question 7: Surprise Us!  What else should we know about your product/technology?
Attodyne also has developed the next-generation of surgical laser. One of the major complications of any surgical procedure is the generation of scar tissue inside the body, which can require repeated surgery to remove and restore normal function. Attodyne’s mid-IR picosecond laser, the PIRL, offers the possibility of scar free healing and cutting with precision down to the limit of a single cell.