As many as 17 Lithuanian companies representing the laser sector participated in Photonics West, one of the largest specialized and hugely popular exhibitions in San Francisco (USA).
This year, Altechna, Ekspla, Eksma Optics, Standa, Direct Machining Control, LIGHT CONVERSION, Litilit, Optoman, Quantum Light Instruments, Integrated optics, Optogama, ADOS-TECH, FEMTIKA, Lidaris, QS Lasers, 3photons, and Workshop of Photonics represented the Lithuanian laser sector at Photonics West, which took place at the end of January. The country’s companies presented the latest technological applications, laser systems, components, and other solutions.
Members of the Laser Association – globally recognized
The annual three-day Photonics West exhibition culminates in the Prism Awards ceremony, often referred to as the “Oscars” by laser professionals. Each year, cutting-edge companies from around the world compete for recognition and the coveted Prism Awards. The Prism Awards are presented to laser, photonics, or optics companies for their most innovative products of the year. This year, 120 entries were submitted. Two Lithuanian laser companies – Direct Machining Control and Litilit – were shortlisted for the Prism Awards.
Šarūnas Vaškelis, sales manager at Direct Machining Control, which develops software for laser systems, is delighted that the company, although ultimately unsuccessful in the competition, made it through to the awards’ finals are highly valued by laser and photonics professionals. „We are delighted to have been nominated alongside photonics industry giants such as Zemax and innovators like Meetoptics.
The technology we presented is unique globally and makes it easier for companies to develop 5-axis laser systems. We appreciate this recognition, which we hope will promote Lithuanian technology around the world,“ says Direct Machining Control’s sales manager.
Mr Vaškelis is echoed by Nikolajus Gavrilinas, director of Litilit. The company’s Neolit ultrashort pulse generator laser was competing in the finals for the award in the industrial laser category. „We are proud to be among the strongest finalists and delighted to have been recognized by industry experts for the innovations we are developing in Lithuania,“ says Litilit’s director.
This year, the Prism Awards 2022 organizers have announced nominees in ten categories: augmented & virtual reality, autonomous transport, software, lasers for industry and science, photonics devices for biomedicine, etc. So far, from among Lithuanian companies, only UAB Ekspla has won at the Prism Awards, receiving recognition in the Scientific Lasers category in 2011.
After the break, a better quality event
The exhibition was visited by Consul General of the Republic of Lithuania in Los Angeles Laima Jurevičienė together with Commercial Attaché to the USA Mantas Zamžickas.
According to the diplomat, it is gratifying to see that the Photonics West event is attended by a growing number of Lithuanian laser technology and component manufacturers.
„This year, many of the participating companies have noticed that the quality of the exhibition has increased after the lockdown year, and the number of targeted contacts has increased. The companies interviewed are very positive about the exhibition and are happy to have had the opportunity to return to live meetings with potential customers and partners after the break,“ says Commercial Attaché Mantas Zamžickas.
According to the laser manufacturers, the USA remains one of the priority markets for the export of Lithuanian-developed lasers and laser systems. About 20% of Lithuanian laser production has been exported to the US in the past few years. To work more closely with partners and customers, a group of Lithuanian companies is planning to open a joint representative office in the US, stimulating even higher sales in one of the world’s most competitive markets.