Laser instrument firms gain US, UK recognition


Three UK firms have won Queen's Awards for Enterprise, a coveted UK industry award, for their success in International Trade and in Innovation. The awards, recognizing the UK's most successful companies, are made by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister and an Advisory Committee.

Edinburgh Instruments, Livingston, UK, a maker of high-end photonic and sensor instruments, was honored for its "outstanding achievements in international trade," which track company growth in exports over a three-year period. The company currently employees around 70 workers aims to increase sales by about 16 percent in 2012 to £9.5 million.

Laser Quantum, a supplier of solid-state lasers, also took home a Queen's Award in the International Trade category. And Fianium won a Queen's Award for Innovation, recognizing its development of "WhiteLase" supercontinuum fiber lasers.

Meanwhile, North Logan, UT-based Ophir-Spiricon, a supplier of laser measuring instruments, has received an award for "outstanding technology business of the year" by the local Cache Chamber of Commerce. The award was recently given out at the Chamber's 2012 annual awards banquet at Utah State University.

The company "exemplifies the type of company we want to encourage to stay, grow, and, in the future, locate in Cache Valley Utah," said Sandra Emile, CEO of the Cache Chamber of Commerce, in a statement. "They represent clean, innovative industry; steady growth; and above-average paying jobs with excellent employee benefits. They also believe in supporting the community."

Spiricon's technology is used in applications from industrial welding to eye surgery. Its roots are from Utah State alum Carlos Roundy, who at Bell Labs in the 1970s devised a process to make 2D images from heat ("pyroelectric infrared camera"). Roundy eventually spun off the technology from Bell and founded Spiricon, targeting the laser beam diagnostic market. The company has doubled its size in the past five years to 58 employees and quadrupled its revenue to $21 million.

(Spotlights image via Shutterstock)

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