BERLIN Light Conversion, a developer of femtosecond lasers in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, holds about 70 percent of the world's scientific market and is entering the industrial market, according to company director Algirdas Juozapavicius.
Light Conversion, known locally as "Sviesos konversija," spunoff from Vilnius University's Laser Research Center in 1994 after developing its first product, an optical amplifier called Topas.
Topas is sold worldwide to systems companies such as US-based Newport Corp, which integrate the product into a laser and then sell it as a complete unit to science and corporate labs in the US, Europe and Japan.
Light Conversion today holds about 70 percent of the worldwide market for scientific lasers, Juozapavicius said.
The company has since moved into industrial applications with a femtosecond laser called Pharos, which was introduced last year.
"We had a successful product for many years but we were a one-leg company," Juozapavicius said. "Now with Pharos we have interest from the industrial market are branching out."
Customers for the Pharos laser are in the semiconductor industry as well as in medical electronics, which uses lasers for eye surgery.
Light Conversion has distribution agreements with several firms including Newport and Coherent in the US and France-based Thales.
Revenues in 2007 were 4,3M euro ($6.2M) and Juozapavicius expects 15% growth this year.
Pharos was developed through European Union funding that was provided to four Lithuanian laser companies in order to help them develop products that could be sold on the worldwide market, he added.
Juozapavicius said Lithuania has the infrastructure required for a thriving laser industry, with several universities and scientific institutes producing PhDs in physics as well as suppliers of optical elements and fabrication facilities.
Lithuania has about a dozen laser companies. Another Vilnius University spinoff is Ekspla, which also developed lasers that are selling on the worldwide market.
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