CEOs of ModuLight and Avantes join EPIC's board of directors

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The European Photonics Industry Consortium's board of directors has gained two new members − Dr Petteri Uusimaa, CEO of Modulight, and Benno Oderkerk, CEO of Avantes. According to the organisation, its role of promoting sustainable development of photonics companies in Europe will be enhanced thanks to the extensive experience both CEOs hold in the sector.

The appointments have come at a time where supporting photonics technologies and businesses is more important than ever. EPIC was recently announced as a Gold Associate for the International Year of Light 2015, an initiative set up by the United Nations to raise global awareness of how light-based technologies could help solve international challenges concerning energy, education, agriculture and health.

Having board members from Finland and The Netherlands will provide EPIC with closer links with the Finnish and Dutch photonics communities, according to Carlos Lee, director general of EPIC, allowing the organisation to develop international relationships and further promote and raise awareness for the field of photonics.

Prior to founding Modulight, Dr Uusimaa was a managing director of Nordic Epitaxy, a Finnish company offering epitaxial wafer products to microwave and optical industries. Since 1997 Uusimaa has been managing semiconductor component and laser systems sales to multinational companies. He also holds a PhD in semiconductor physics from Tampere University of Technology (TUT).

‘Having a background of founding two start-up companies in the field of photonics and bringing Modulight from over €10 million initial investment to a profitable company in international photonics business provides me with the experience needed in understanding how an organisation like EPIC can help in generating new business for European companies,’ Uusimaa noted. ‘The photonics industry is overall quite fragmented and diversified, there is still a lot we can achieve by facilitating the networking among the photonics stakeholders in Europe, research facilities, companies, and also various financing organisations.’

Benno Oderkerk co-founded Avantes in 1994, a spectroscopy company in The Netherlands with offices in the USA, China and the United Kingdom. Oderkerk obtained his master’s degree in Electronic Engineering at the Twente Technical University in Enschede, the Netherlands in March 1988. He worked from April 1987 until December 1988 at the Technion Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel. He then started in Munich, Germany at the University of the Bundeswehr in 1989 as a research associate. From autum 1989 until 1994 he worked as a technical director at STM Sensor Technology Munich, Germany.

‘Photonics supports our mission to provide photonic devices than enable us to live longer and healthier and make our planet more sustainable for the future. The use of photonics in health care, lighting, solar energy, agriculture and many more applications is of vital importance. Photonics will be known even better than electronics in the years to come!’ Oderkerk commented.

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