Press release

Founded , Palaiseau

Infrared imaging technology specialist Sofradir expands and will move to new HQ

Sofradir’s head office will relocate to Palaiseau, a big hi-tech valley near Paris, together with the infrared technology production and research facilities acquired from Sagem and Thales.


Chatenay-Malabry (near Paris), France, November 04, 2013--Sofradir, a leading developer and manufacturer of advanced infrared detectors for multiple military, space, commercial and scientific applications, announces today it will transfer its headquarters to Palaiseau on the Plateau de Saclay, a long-established and growing hi-tech center for materials and optics research in the Paris region. The relocation is a result of Sofradir’s need to expand and increase production. It will install the manufacturing and research facilities of three of its infrared technologies under a single roof by spring 2014.

Palaiseau is in close proximity to many technological research institutions and scientific universities that are among the best in Europe and hi-tech companies. At the new 4000sq meter site, Sofradir will create its second technological center, focused on advanced infrared imaging technologies. It aims to duplicate the same high-level research and innovation it achieves at its main production plant near Grenoble, France; a city Forbes Magazine ranked the fifth most innovative in the world.

“At the new Palaiseau headquarters, Sofradir will be looking to achieve technological leadership across our whole arsenal of IR technologies,” said Philippe Bensussan, chairman and CEO of Sofradir. “We aim to replicate the environment in Grenoble, with close relationships between industry, universities and research centers that have been key to the successful innovations we’ve accomplished using the single high performance IR detector technology we have owned for the last 25 years. I am proud that we will take an active part in the expansion of the science and technology cluster in Palaiseau.”

In December 2012, Sofradir announced consolidated ownership of all major infrared technologies used in the manufacture of IR detectors by acquiring three key technologies from its parent companies Sagem and Thales, and a lab called GIE III-V: Indium Antimonide (InSb), Indium Gallium Arsenide (InGaAs) and Quantum Well Infrared Photodetector (QWIP). “With the addition of these new technologies and our second facilities in Palaiseau, Sofradir is aiming to be the global leader in infrared detectors,” said Bensussan.

IR detectors are advanced technology components at the center of multiple military, space, commercial and scientific applications. Sofradir exports 80 per cent of its IR products for use in military equipment such as thermal imagers, missile seekers, surveillance systems, machine vision, targeting systems or observation satellites. It produced 6,000 IR detectors based on its flagship IR technology (Mercury Cadmium Telluride), the highest unit volume produced in this category.

“The performance and price of IR detectors are key to the competitiveness of optronics systems,” said Bensussan. “Giving our customers this competitive edge has always been the main driver of our technological developments. The powerful combination of IR technologies puts us in a far stronger position than ever. We’ll be able to offer customers the widest choice of IR product for any application across the whole spectrum from visible to very far infrared.”

About Sofradir
Sofradir is the leading developer and manufacturer of highly advanced infrared (IR) detectors for military, space and industrial applications. Its vast IR product portfolio covers the entire spectrum from the visible and near infrared to very far infrared. Sofradir pioneers developments in cooled IR detectors based on a sophisticated high performance technology, Mercury Cadmium Telluride (MCT) to which Indium Antimonide (InSb), Indium Gallium Arsenide (InGaAs) and Quantum Well Infrared Photodetector (QWIP) technologies are now added. Many of the world’s missile seekers, targeting pods, armored vehicle cameras, handheld goggles and other airborne, naval and ground vehicle applications use Sofradir’s military-grade, battlefield proven IR equipment. Sofradir holds the unique position as the only maker of IR detectors in Europe to be space-qualified.

Founded in 1986, Sofradir's headquarters are located in Chatenay-Malabry, near Paris. It carries out high volume manufacturing at its plant in Veurey-Voroize, near Grenoble. It is in the process of installing its new headquarters and manufacturing site in Palaiseau, near Paris. Sofradir owns two subsidiaries: ULIS, a manufacturer of mass volume microbolometers based in Veurey-Voroize and US-based Sofradir EC, a provider of IR imaging cores and engines, located in Fairfield, NJ. Together Sofradir, ULIS and Sofradir EC employ 700 people generating more than USD 200 million in sales in 2012.



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