RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK —RTI International, a nonprofit research institute, has launched a new spin-out venture company, SWIR Vision Systems Inc., to commercialize breakthrough infrared camera technology developed at RTI for applications in the industrial machine vision, security systems, agricultural, automotive, and other global imaging markets.
“Commercializing our most promising discoveries is an important aspect of our mission to improve the human condition by turning knowledge into practice,” said Wayne Holden, president and CEO of RTI International in a statement. “RTI has a deep history of innovations and establishing new businesses like SWIR Vision Systems, that leverage RTI’s technology, is a great way to extend our impact.”
RTI’s patented infrared camera technology, based on novel and commercially scalable image sensor materials, was advanced with a combination of grant support from Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and internal development, management, and financial support from RTI.
The technology was licensed exclusively to SWIR Vision Systems, which plans to commercialize its Acuros SWIR-band cameras in 2018 and manufacture the cameras at its Research Triangle Park operations center.
“To further support the new company, RTI has made an equity investment, and will participate going forward via board membership,” said Ginger Rothrock, who directs technology commercialization at RTI. “RTI’s early stage commercialization model provides multi-disciplinary support and investment to a focused portfolio of high potential development programs,” added Rothrock.
George Wildeman, a photonics industry executive and entrepreneur with over 25 years of technology commercialization experience, has been named CEO of SWIR Vision Systems. Ethan Klem, PhD, will transition from RTI to become SWIR’s Chief Technology Officer. Klem led the innovative research and development program for the sensors during his tenure at RTI and will continue to spearhead the technical program with the new company.
“Acuros cameras will dramatically expand the imaging toolkit for machine vision integrators, disrupting the cost and performance curve for vision systems design,” said Wildeman, “We look forward to witnessing the impact of the technology as it is adopted in our target applications and markets.”