Pim Kat, the CEO and founder of Technobis, which supplies high-tech instruments, has been presented with the EPIC Phoenix Award 2015. The award, recognising entrepreneurship in photonics, was given at the European Photonics Industry Consortium’s (EPIC) annual general meeting, held in Paris, France from 9-10 April.
‘I'm really proud to receive this EPIC Phoenix award,’ commented Kat. ‘It’s particularly rewarding for me to have been recognised and acknowledged in such a remarkable group of entrepreneurs in photonics. Thanks to these ambitious people and innovative companies we’ve made great progress in photonics as an enabling technology.’
Kat along with co-founder Bram Kruk started the company in 1996 and later established a number of businesses, including Technobis Fibre Optic Sensing. The company’s breakthrough came when ASML asked Technobis to develop a fibre Bragg grating interrogator with a wavelength resolution of 0.1 femtometre. This required a technology switch to integrated photonics.
While developing the integrated photonics chip, Technobis put their standard interrogator chip designs on the same production runs, resulting in a family of chip designs with high speed, resolution, and multiplexing capacities. The company grew to around 35 people.
In 2014 Technobis had a new facility build in Alkmaar, The Netherlands with dedicated vibration isolated labs and office space for 50 employees. Finding no partner for packaging optical chips for sensing applications in series, Technobis set up its own production and started Technobis IPPS (integrated photonics packaging services) in January 2014. This company offers service to all starters in integrated optics, and designs and supply packaged chips for all platforms (InP, SOI and TriPleXTM).
At the same time, Technobis Mechatronics focused on instrument development for OEM customers using precision mechanics, photonics and thermal stability equipment. In January 2015, Technobis Group acquired Avantium Pharmatech which was renamed Technobis Crystallization Systems.
‘The story of Technobis is an example that success is no accident; it is hard work, determination, perseverance. The EPIC Phoenix award is a symbol of the challenging realities that entrepreneurs face and the journey that this entails. I am honoured to present the award to Pim Kat!’ said Benno Oderkerk, CEO of Avantes and member of the board of directors of EPIC.
EPIC has recently seen the 200th member join the association, and has more than doubled in size since 2012. Its increase in membership is a good indication of growth in the photonics market.