OIDA Industry Profile - Amplitude Laser
By Samantha Hornback, Research & Program Development Coordinator, The Optical Society
OSA Industry Development Associates (OIDA) member Amplitude Laser, France, is a leading manufacturer of ultrafast lasers for scientific, medical and industrial applications. Since its founding in 2001, Amplitude has grown to serve more than 40 countries worldwide, with locations in Europe, North America and Asia. The company describes itself as “the international leader in ultrafast lasers.ʺ OSA spoke with the company’s founder and CEO Eric Mottay about his career and Amplitude’s work with lasers.
OSA: What’s the value proposition for Amplitude? What markets does the company serve?
Amplitude is a leading manufacturer of ultrafast lasers for industrial, medical, and scientific applications. Ultrafast lasers are pulsed lasers with extremely short pulse duration. They offer our customers an extremely high peak power, coupled with a very short pulse duration.
This allows for micro-processing of virtually any material, without any heating effect and therefore a very high quality. The extremely high peak power of high-end scientific lasers allows them to address applications typically served by large particle accelerators (X-ray and proton generation, electron acceleration) at a fraction of the cost.
The company started in 2001. How has it changed since then ?
Amplitude started in 2001 as a pure technology company, at a time when industrial applications of ultrafast lasers were nonexistant. The company grew from a technology startup to an advanced manufacturing company. Today it has a global footprint and is a key supplier for large medical and industrial domains.
Where do you expect Amplitude to be in 10 years?
Ultrafast lasers applications represent today a bright spot in terms of laser growth, mainly driven by rising customer expectations in terms of manufacturing quality, as well as the continuous development of new applications. Amplitude’s size and focus on its core business are key advantages, giving it the flexibility that is sometimes a challenge for larger laser companies, as well as the industrial and engineering depth that start-ups need to acquire.
How do your employees help shape your business ?
Amplitude employees tend to be passionate about their business, their goal being to bring the best lasers in the world to the market. Technology excellence, product quality and exploring new frontiers are key drivers for Amplitude personnel.
You’re an international company too—how does that affect the products you develop ?
Amplitude business is fairly well balanced between Europe, the United States and Asia. The feedback from our colleagues all over the world has helped us design products and services suited for different customer types. They also have an important say, which I wish to further increase, into the strategic decisions of the company.
What, in your view, is the best decision that Amplitude has made to date?
I think the best decision was to start a femtosecond laser business in the early 2000s, when the safe bet seemed to get a good job in the telecom industry. Everything else is a follow-up.
How about the worst, or riskiest, decision? Do you have any regrets?
I do not regret any decision I made--even ones which have proven to be not very good. My only regrets, usually, are not to have made a decision fast enough. It is always possible to correct a bad decision, but more difficult to buy back time!
Tell me a bit about your personal career path. How did you get to this point?
I have always been active in the laser business. I started as a laser engineer in a small French company, which was later acquired by a larger group. After technical management positions, I spend several years in New Jersey to start the U.S. operations for the company. This gave me a very useful business and international perspective, which was essential in starting and managing Amplitude.
What advice would you give others looking to start a company?
I discovered, by interacting with other entrepreneurs, that the type of personality and initial motivation was not an indicator of success, and that there are many different ways to achieve the same results. I am therefore very cautious in giving advice. Hard work and team spirits tend to be common traits though.
Amplitude is an OIDA member. What do you see as the value of that membership?
As with any professional association, the members and community are key. Photonics is a fascinating but somewhat peculiar business, and it is great to belong to an association and members who understand it and can speak together with a common language.
Posted: 17 December 2019 by Samantha Hornback, Research & Program Development Coordinator, The Optical Society | with 0 comments
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