Youth research

The international leader in optics opens an applications laboratory at CREOL and joins the UCF business incubation program

A unique new academic-industrial alliance between UCF and ficonTEC, a world leader in photonics manufacturing, is expected to boost the region and provide access to sophisticated industrial production tools for students and researchers across the body. professorial.

ficonTEC, a Germany-based company with locations in Europe and the Far East, expands to Central Florida – joining UCF Business Incubation Program as a Soft Landing customer and opening an application lab on UCF’s main campus, inside CREOL, the College of Optics and Photonics. The new lab will serve as a research and development manufacturing facility for ficonTEC, and will also be open to UCF students, faculty, and local industry partners. The lab is expected to open in March.

Torsten Vahrenkamp, ​​CEO of ficonTEC, explains that the move began as a response to the disruption of global supply chains and growing demand for their products, particularly in North America where the adoption of photonics integrated is more important. Partnering with CREOL provides the added benefit of teaming ficonTEC systems and engineers with UCF faculty experts and leaders in the field.

“We couldn’t have hoped for a better environment to relaunch our business in the United States,” says Vahrenkamp.

CREOL students and professors regularly produce prototypes and theoretical devices but are limited in their ability to create a working model. ficonTEC’s application lab will provide the precise and advanced equipment needed to manufacture the finished prototypes that attract investors.

“This partnership brings a new dimension to CREOL’s established photonics R&D groups and to the United States as a whole. — David Hagan, Dean of the College of Optics and Photonics

“This partnership brings a new dimension to CREOL’s established photonics R&D groups and to the United States as a whole,” said David Hagan, Dean of the College of Optics and Photonics. “It offers UCF students an unparalleled opportunity to learn photonic integration techniques.”

ficonTEC’s expertise lies in the creation of assembly and test machine systems for the production of photonic components. Their intellectual property is based on approximately 1,000 operational production systems located worldwide and in applications that include communications, smart mobility, sensors for IoT, sustainability, clean energy and others. Applications include 3D facial recognition, mapping sensors in modern smartphones, and the LIDAR array that self-driving cars use to scan their surroundings.

“Like many other companies before them, ficonTEC traveled the country and chose Orlando for their US headquarters because of the assets we built at UCF and our photonics incubator,” says Carol Ann Dykes Logue. , responsible for the UCF Business Incubator website. “It’s a significant achievement to host this in our facilities and in our community, and it should be the backbone of this industry for years to come.”

CREOL offers graduate degrees in optics and photonics and a bachelor’s degree in photonics science and engineering. During the first few months at UCF, ficonTec plans to work with photonic integrated circuits in CREOL labs and begin training students on virtualized assembly systems.

FiconTEC is the fourth company to join UCF’s photonics incubator within CREOL’s facilities, and the first and only to offer its own manufacturing capabilities. The incubator also houses LC Matter Corporation, Plasmonics and Olkin Optics. Incubator companies can use the facilities of the CREOL laboratory, benefit from collaborations with professors and graduate students, and access UCF’s business development resources.