Phase 2 NSF Grant Supports Thorlabs’ Continued Involvement in Industry-University Cooperative Research Center for Biophotonic Sensors and Systems
Laurie Morgus, Ph.D. Physics
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Newton, NJ – June 12, 2017 – As a company member of the Industry-University Cooperative Research Center (IUCRC) for Biophotonic Sensors and Systems at Boston University and the University of California Davis, Thorlabs is pleased to share that NSF has awarded the cooperative a 5-year, phase-2 funding grant. The Center for Biophotonic Sensors and Systems (CBSS) is one of eighty-two active IUCRCs, all of which are aimed at developing mutually beneficial, long-term partnerships among industry, academia, and government.
With an aim towards using photonics as an enabling technology, the focus of CBSS is to conduct research to meet the needs of industry-driven requirements for improved food and water safety, disease diagnosis, drug efficacy testing, and monitoring of patient drug effectiveness. At the conclusion of phase 1, Thorlabs was one of eight industry members supporting the activities of CBSS. Membership fees are used to fund proposals by Boston University and UC Davis that align with the Center’s research focus in bioimaging, optical diagnostics, and analytics.
“Thorlabs’ involvement with CBSS predates the phase 1 funding by NSF, and hence, we are thrilled that they have awarded phase 2 sponsorship to the center,” said John Taranto, an engineer within Thorlabs’ Advanced Systems Technologies Business Unit and member of the Industrial Advisory Board for CBSS. “The IUCRCs create an energizing environment where industry experts and university researchers participate in iterative discussions on precompetitive applied research that would be carried out at the university level and holds significant commercial promise.”
Thorlabs, a vertically integrated photonics products manufacturer, was founded in 1989 to serve the laser and electro-optics research market. As that market has spawned a multitude of technical innovations, Thorlabs has extended its core competencies in an effort to play an ever increasing role serving the Photonics Industry at the research end, as well as the industrial, life science, medical, and defense segments. The organization’s highly integrated and diverse manufacturing assets include semiconductor fabrication of laser diodes, optical amplifiers, lithium niobate modulators, quantum cascade/interband cascade lasers, and VCSEL lasers; fiber towers for drawing glass optical fibers (silica, fluoride, tellurite, and hollow core); MBE/MOCVD epitaxial wafer growth reactors; extensive glass and metal fabrication facilities; advanced thin film deposition capabilities; and optomechanical and optoelectronic shops.