2009 News

Orlando Company Transforms Bright Ideas into Real World Products

(Orlando, FL) – Incorporated in 1999, OptiGrate Corp (OG) is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.  Headquartered in Orlando, OG designs and manufactures a full range of volume Bragg gratings (transmitting - TBG, reflecting - RBG, chirped - CBG) in inorganic photosensitive silicate glass.  OptiGrate formally changed its name in 2008 from Light Processing Technologies Inc.

“We’re celebrating our 10th anniversary with a team of 15 people whose hard work transformed bright scientific ideas into real world products.  We are grateful to all of our customers who have supported us over the years and have trusted in our products and capabilities”, says Alexei Glebov, CEO.

Three CREOL scientists Dr. Leon Glebov, his wife Larissa Glebova, and his colleague Vadim Smirnov, founded OG to commercialize the technology of VBG in photosensitive glass. The foundation for the technology was developed by L. Glebov in 70’s in the Soviet Union where he and his colleagues discovered a photo-thermo-refractive effect and recorded first ever volume Bragg gratings (VBGs) in photo-thermo-refractive (PTR) glass. With his group of researchers at CREOL, the technology was developed to the level enabling application of VBGs in real world.

“As it usually happens we went a long way from the first demonstration of PTR VBGs to fabrication of high efficiency and low absorption gratings that can be used in high power lasers or other applications.” says Dr. Leon Glebov, the company’s founder and CTO.

Spinning out from CREOL and now located in the UCF Technology Incubator at Research Park, OG took its technology further.  With the use of US Government support, it developed the technology for implementation in a number of high-end military systems and started converting the government funded research into commercial products. In 2008, Dr. Alexei Glebov joined the company as President and CEO, bringing extensive experience of large photonics industry to further push the VBG commercialization effort.

“OptiGrate grew out of CREOL labs and was able to build up vertically integrated manufacturing and top class R&D facilities and now supplies VBG to a large number of defense, industrial and academic players in four continents,” said Dr. Alexei Glebov.
He adds, “OptiGrate’s team was the first to fabricate commercial level volume Bragg gratings, owns the first IP on VBG technology, and continues to beat world records on the number of grating characteristics.  We look forward to what the next ten years will bring.”

OptiGrate has generated tremendous success by making holographic breakthroughs and garnering industry awards.  In 2008, Dr. Leon Glebov received the Dennis Gabor Award from SPIE, an international society advancing light-based research, for discovery and practical implementation of photo-thermo-refractive glass as a new medium for recording high-efficiency volume holographic gratings.   In November, he was elected to the 2008 Fellow Membership of the Optical Society of America (OSA) for pioneering studies of photo-ionization physics of pure and doped glasses.  Dr. Leon Glebov's work has been celebrated as one of the top 100 technological breakthroughs by the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) for pioneering a method of writing microscopic pathways - holograms - into glass.

Additionally, in September 2007, OptiGrate received the Florida High Tech Corridor’s first-ever “Award for Innovation in Central Florida” at the William C. Schwartz Industry Innovation Awards Banquet, hosted by the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission.

UCF Technology Incubator at Research Park (UCFTI)
UCFTI was established in 1999 to support emerging high technology companies and help them become financially stable business enterprises.  In partnership with local government, economic development organizations, and business, the UCFTI has served nearly 90 companies since opening.  Twenty-three companies have graduated from the program.  Collectively UCFTI clients and graduates have created nearly 800 jobs with an average wage of $59,000 and generate over $200M a year in revenue.  The UCFTI is located in the Central Florida Research Park and represents a UCF partnership with Orange County, the City of Orlando, and the Florida High Technology Corridor.

CREOL – The Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers
CREOL is the larger of two research centers within The College of Optics and Photonics, and is the foundational element of the College. Originally named “The Center for Research in Electro-Optics and Lasers”, the name was later changed replacing Electro-optics with Education to better identify with the Center’s goals of providing a well-trained work force to the local industry. The establishment of CREOL was a result of a recommendation by the Florida High Technology and Industry Council (FHTIC), formed by then Florida Governor Bob Graham to lead the definition of what industries should be emphasized to build the state’s high-tech economy.