In This Issue

  • Acquisitions
  • Expansionss
  • Marketing Insights
  • New Products
  • Chances to Meet Optics Students
  • Intellectual Property Legislation
  • Tech Tranfer
  • VC Corner

Navitar Acquires Special Optics

Deal Expands Lens Design & Rapid Prototype Capabilities

Navitar (Rochester, NY-based),a globalleader in the design, manufacturer and distribution of precision optics and opto-mechanical assembliesfor the machine vision and digital projection industries announced the acquisition of Special Optics, a privately owned manufacturer of optical assemblies for long range surveillance, laser scanning, laser projection, UV, visible, and infrared applications. The acquisition was effective January 25, 2008.

Headquartered in Wharton, New Jersey and founded in 1965, Special Optics is a fully integrated provider of custom, precision optical and electro-optical solutions that span markets and applications from medical imaging, semiconductor metrology, digital projection, laser projection, laser scanning, digital radiology, unmanned aerial vehicles, unmanned ground vehicles, missile tracking, and homeland security & defense.

According to Julian Goldstein and Jeremy Goldstein, co-presidents of Navitar, the acquisition of Special Optics provides the following key benefits:

  • Special Optics rapid prototyping and lens design capabilities will increase Navitar’s product offerings and complement Navitar’s strong lens manufacturing capabilities and ability to bring those innovative designs into volume production

  • The combination of Navitar’s volume production expertise and Special Optics rapid design and prototype capabilities is expected to enable Navitar to increase its competitive advantage and technical offering to military contractors and commercial accounts seeking to outsource optics-based assemblies.

David Manzi, President of Special Optics explains “the acquisition by Navitar provides us with an expanded range of capabilities to offer our customers. Now, when the rapid prototyping stage has been completed, Navitar’s world leading production facilities can easily accommodate volume production as programs grow. With the design and prototyping strengths of Special Optics combined with the financial strength and production capabilities of Navitar, we can now accommodate anything from custom optical assemblies used in long distance surveillance or unmanned aerial vehicles to over 1,000 units per year for precision lenses used in new biomedical applications.


Spectrum Relocates to New Facility

Workflow, R&D and Equipment Upgrades for Coating Operation

Spectrum Thin Films (STF) has purchased and moved into a 16,000 sq ft building located in the Hauppauge Industrial Park (Long Island).


According to Tony Pirera, STF's President and CEO, the new facility offers four times the previous operating space with updated sales offices, manufacturing space and a 3000 sq ft clean room. The new space also allows increased efficiencies, increased quality control and a better manufacturing workflow. Quality control is now done in the clean room for more critical inspections.

The move coincided with significant upgrades in both information technology and manufacturing equipment, including:
State of the art chillers which are more environmentally sound
Full automation using propriety designs

"We are also in the process of testing our own proprietary optical monitoring system, designed for increased accuracy and repeatability." said Pirera. "We have also innaugurated a proprietary third generation ION source (IAD) which offers higher current density. The IAD allows Spectrum to coat substrates such as polymers and other temperature sensitive substrates with reduced coating times and faster deliveries."

"Our spectrophotometers have also undergone major upgrades." says Pirera,"The infrared spectrophotometer PE 983 has a new state of the art detector, and computer control using FILMSTAR Measure Suite. New in-house designed attachments for measuring reflectance at various angles are another distinction. In addition, we are now certified and calibrated for testing humidity, temperature and cryogenics to -60 degrees C."

STF, which currently employs 27, has plans to hire more technicians and engineers. Their customer base has expanded to include astronomy, coating large, very complex lenses for major observatories throughout the world, and manufacturing optics for high-end amateur astronomy.

According to Pirera, STF's unique coating capabilities have spanned the gap from very expensive dielectric coating which in years past were too expensive for some markets. Today, STF is coating for the Medical Industry, supplying dielectric mirrors for increase throughput and enhanced image; the Motion Picture Industry, supplying next generation coatings for image improvements and enhancement; and the Military, working on very complex coatings for IR imaging systems.

"STF has been awarded four grants from New York State. One was to help us get our ISO certification, another was to improve our management systems and increase efficiencies; third was a research grant to help us with our proprietary R&D, and the last grant lowered the interest rate on the new facility. Local and New York State economic development officials have been extremely supportive."

Pirera expects ISO certification in March 2008.

As we reported in October, 2007, Spectrum was included in Inc. Magazine's top 5,000 U.S. companies in their 2008 survey. In addition, Pirera is recognized in Strathmore’s WHO’s Who for demonstrated leadership and achievement in the optics industry.

Spectrum Thin Films will host an open house for friends, suppliers and customers on March 7th at 8:00PM.

New Contact Information:
Spectrum Thin Films Inc.
135 Marcus Blvd.
Hauppauge, NY 11788
Phone: (631) 901-1010
Fax: (631) 236-4309


Sydor Instruments Launches New Product

Sydor Instruments has introduced its newest ultra-fast optical comb generator; the alternative to large, costly, table-top laser systems currently on the market.

The compact, VCSEL optical comb generator delivers 1mW of power on the order of several GHz for the most demanding applications. The Sydor comb generator is ideal for accurate, time-based calibration of electro-optic instrumentation, sensors, detectors, and streak cameras. It features continuous or gated operation from 50ns up to 1000ns with a trigger jitter of <2 ps.

“Sydor Instruments provides ultrafast solid state laser sources for use in a variety of diagnostic applications in energetics, detonics, and radiography,” said Michael Pavia, President of Sydor Instruments. “Sydor’s laser sources are ideally suited for use with our portfolio of imaging detectors and ultrafast recording systems. We design and build custom configurations that are tailored to a company’s unique application.”

Sydor Instruments is the world premier diagnostics provider and continues to build on its world class ROSS streak camera products. Sydor delivers the best in single photon counting cameras, image intensifiers, photomultipliers, and detectors for space, energy, and life sciences. Sydor Instruments professionals enthusiastically collaborate with customers to deliver the best systems for low light and ultrafast imaging.



New Grade of Ultrasteep Raman Edge Filters

Semrock introduced a new level of performance into its already popular RazorEdge® family of thin-film optical edge filters for Raman spectroscopy.  The unprecedented steepness of the new “E-grade” long-wave-pass edge filters makes it possible to measure Stokes-shifted Raman signals closer to the laser line than ever before.


All RazorEdge Raman filters – broadly stocked for laser wavelengths ranging from 224 to 1064 nm – provide exceptional steepness to allow measurement of signals very close to the blocked laser line with high signal-to-noise ratio. All are made with sophisticated Ion Beam Sputtering for the highest performance and proven reliability.  However the new E-grade RazorEdge filters take closeness to an Extreme new level, enabling the most discriminating Raman spectroscopy measurements.  Initial offerings of this new grade for popular 532, 633, and 785 nm lasers boast an edge steepness (measured from optical density 6 to 50% transmission) of only 0.2% of the laser wavelength – translating to 1 nm or about 40 cm–1 for a 532 nm edge filter!  “These exceptional filters are the result of a happy marriage of  customer demand and our continuous technology improvement,” said Dr. Turan Erdogan, CTO of Semrock.


Events and Conferences

February 24-28, 2008
San Diego Convention Center
San Diego, CA USA

Defense & Security
16 - 20 March, 2008
Marriott World Center
Orlando, Florida, USA


Optatec 2008
17 - 20 June, 2008
Frankfurt, Germany

OSA Annual Frontiers in Optics 2008
19 - 23 October, 2008
Rochester, NY
Riverside Convention Center

11 - 14 May, 2009
Early Bird Contract, due February 15

Rochester, NY
Riverside Convention Center



What's Happening Now


Early Bird Contracts were distributed to exhibitors in their booths at Photonics West. They are due by March 7th. Contact SPIE if you did not receive one. If you are a New York Photonics / RRPC member be sure to check the box indicating that you want to exhibit with the New York Cluster.


Early Bird Contract for Optifab 2009 are due this month! See events below.


RRPC Event

A Review of the Key Issues Facing Internet Marketers in 2008


"Exploring the Digital Marketing Trends of 2008 and Beyond"

Tuesday, February 12, 2008
1:30 PM - 3:30 PM


Small and medium sized businesses like RRPC members have made substantial investments in their internet presence during the past decade. The advisor to companies making these investments is often an advertising or marketing communications firm. Where do the advisors learn about new ways of using this powerful medium? How can you gain insight into where internet marketing is going, what innovators are doing, and what will work for you?


You will learn about current trends and key issues so that you will feel more informed as a decision maker with a budget for marketing using the internet.


The presentation will include:

  • A review of contemporary online viral, buzz and guerilla marketing techniques
  • The impact of online social networking on current marketing practices
  • An overview of new virtual worlds such as Second Life and their relevance as a new marketing channel
  • The role of self-branding and marketing via association in this new era

Presented by Dr. Neil Hair,
Assistant Professor, Chartered Marketer
Rochester Institute of Technology School of Business


Lennox Tech Incubator
150 Lucius Gordon Drive
West Henrietta, NY 14586


There is a $35.00 registration fee to attend.
$25.00 for RRPC & New York Photonics Members.

Download and print the registration form here.
Register by credit card through our calendar here


Optical Society of America - Rochester Section

Student Poster Session/Networking Event


Tuesday, February 26, 2008
7:00 p.m.

University of Rochester
Goergen Hall Munnerlyn Atrium
Rochester, NY 14627



  • Meet representatives from optics companies in the Rochester area
  • Present your latest work in a poster session
  • Email dlancia[at]earthlink.net to participate in the poster session


  • Meet UR, RIT, and MCC students in optics-related programs
  • Show off your company
  • E-mail dlancia[at]earthlink.net to reserve a table

Participating companies so far:

  • Lucid
  • Photon Gear
  • Optimax
  • Sydor
  • MCC
  • QED
  • Qioptiq

Free Food and Drinks Provided

Local section link here.


Intellectual Property Threat... or Protection?

U.S. House of Representatives Passes Patent Reform; Senate Bill Pending


This past September, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1908, also known as “The Patent Reform Act of 2007.”  The Senate version of the bill, S. 1145, is now awaiting further action.  If this pending legislation is passed in its present form, it will result in some of the most significant changes in patent law in over 50 years.

The key provisions of the bill are as follows:

  • A change from “first to file” instead of “first to invent,” i.e. a patent shall be awarded to the first party to file a patent application, rather than to the party that can prove the earliest date of invention.
  • Publication of all patent applications at eighteen months from filing date.
  • A post-grant review process that will make it easier for a patent to be challenged outside of court after it has issued.
  • Changes to apportionment of damages when a party is found to infringe a patent.  Damages would be limited to the “incremental” value an invention adds to a product.

Supporters of the bill are primarily very large corporations within the financial services and information technology sectors.  Opponents of the bill cover a broad spectrum of businesses, universities, and other organizations, such as the ABA, the AFL-CIO, and the National Association of Patent Practitioners. 

As of this writing, S. 1145 is currently in deliberations within the Senate Judiciary Committee.  A full Senate vote is possible in early 2008.


If patents are or may someday be a critical asset to your business, you should take some time to study the issues regarding this bill.  A more detailed summary of the bill (along with editorial comment on it) by Rochester, NY-based patent agents John Hammond and Robert Gunderman has been published in the February issue of the Rochester Engineer.  For a reprint of that article including a link to S. 1145, click here.


Tech Transfer

STTR 08.A Solicitation has been issued for public release

The DoD STTR 2008.A solicitation has been pre-released here. It invites small businesses and research institutions to jointly propose cooperative research and development efforts in response to topics in this solicitation. During the pre-release period, which ends on February 18, 2008, you may contact the topic authors directly (contact information is listed with the topic) to ask technical questions about specific solicitation topics. The DoD will begin accepting proposals on February 19, 2008 and will close to proposals on March 19, 2008 at 6am EST. Plan ahead and submit your proposal early to avoid the risk of website inaccessibility due to heavy usage on the final day.


VC Corner

Parallel Interest


As a venture capitalist, I was constantly aware of my status as an outside investor who had little daily influence over the companies I invested in. Put another way, I had delegated to management the responsibility for building a successful business. This created a need for me to establish “parallel interest” so that the rewards system encouraged everyone to row together in the same direction.


Venture capitalists are professional investors that typically manage money on behalf of wealthy individuals and institutions. We are focused on generating a financial return for them and our own compensation is heavily weighted towards producing capital gains. My investments are predicated upon achieving a fair financial reward as compensation for the risk associated with investing in a small, early-stage business.


Consequently, I want everyone associated with the company driven by achieving the goals that would produce a healthy return for my investors – and me. VC investments typically take the form of equity. This largely explains why venture capitalists want the management team’s compensation weighted heavily towards stock. Typically, VCs will also encourage equity ownership throughout employee ranks via an option program. So, the VC makes money, the owners make money and we’re all content with our financial outcomes. That’s what I refer to as “parallel interest.”


In a growing organization that raises funds from outside sources, cash is king. Smaller companies often can’t offer compensation packages that match large corporations, but they can offer upside through equity participation. Employee ownership is a solution for a company that needs to pay lower cash compensation and fewer benefits, by offering unlimited future upside.


Most small, growth companies will not raise venture capital, but they can learn from the VC model. Closely held companies owned by individuals who are determined to increase the value of their business may contemplate a variety of ways to align their employee’s interests with their own. If the owners are more determined to generate maximum cash flow, it would behoove them to employ a cash bonus program that is clearly tied to results. (I personally recommend monthly or quarterly payouts and clear communication with employees.)


I have been successful using option programs to recruit and motivate management. This entails delivering a convincing case to the recipients of the future value. With regard to salespeople, however, you may encounter a different set of circumstances. Salespeople have clearer and more immediate goals – generating revenues and, thus, precious cash. For a number of reasons, their compensation will always be more heavily skewed towards cash. But with sales, cash is a direct result of successful performance that is easy to measure. Cash compensation for salespeople is actually consistent with establishing “parallel interest.”


As a business owner, entrepreneur or manager, you have to create a work environment that is exciting and challenging. But never underestimate the importance of understanding business goals and creating compensation systems that align interests throughout the organization.


Richard A. Glaser is a financial advisor at a major securities firm. You can send him an email here.


Contact RRPC


New York Photonics and the Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster are active and growing collaborative organizations. Efforts are under way on joint training events, workforce development, collaborative advertising opportunities, promoting the commercialization of I.P., and the development of our website to further facillitate business development.


Join us! There are advantages to working together, and we are interested in working with you. Send an email to us at membership@rrpc-ny.org.

To subscribe, to unsubscribe, to submit a news item or upcoming event, to suggest a feature or column, or to offer feedback, contact Tom Battley, at 585-329-4029.


Copyright 2008, Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster, Inc.

New York Photonics and The Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster (RRPC) are not-for-profit organizations founded to promote and enhance the New York State photonics, optics and imaging industry by fostering the cooperation of business, academia and government.