“MultiKETs Pilot lines” Project - Sofradir
Sofradir allows insights in its pilot production management: an example for technology deployment
Palaiseau, September 15, 2014 - As part of the launched European project “MultiKETs Pilot lines”, Sofradir organizes a series of workshops on the 21st, 22nd and 23rd of October at its site of Veurey-Voroize near Grenoble. More than a hundred executives representing the research, industrial and financial sectors have been invited. The aim is to share the experience of Sofradir in the implementation of so called Key Enabling Technologies (KETs), focusing on the period between technological development and commercialization. For many companies, this phase of pilot production often means a "valley of death".
Sofradir Workshops for the European Industry
Based on the pilot line examples of Sofradir and three other corporate partners in the project, the European Commission aspires to help businesses to overcome the major obstacles for their technological initiatives. In order to avoid innovative technologies falling in the “valley of death” a joined effort of business and policy is necessary. The aim is to ensure that technology developments achieve their ultimate goal to bring new technologies to the market and, finally, to be a source of growth and industrial jobs in Europe.
Up to now the European Commission supports research in many ways. In order to continue providing markets with innovative products, an additional significant effort must be directed to the industrialization phase. In this framework, Sofradir’s pilot line sets an example: Based on new technologies developed in collaboration with CEA-Leti diverse, new products can be implemented which are more compact, value added energy-saving and opening new areas of technology applications – but all this is just possible with a breathtaking effort for the mid cap company. “The development of these new technologies is essential for Sofradir and their industrialization is already well advanced”, says Michel Vuillermet, head of the “MultiKETs” project at Sofradir. “We should start the production within a year”, he concludes.
Sofradir is the world's leader in the development and manufacture of high-tech infrared (IR) detectors for military, space-based and industrial applications. Its vast range of IR products covers the entire spectrum from visible and short-wave infrared to very long-wave infrared.
Sofradir is constantly innovating in the development of cooled IR detectors using high-performance technologies based on mercury cadmium telluride (MCT) as well as other technologies such as indium antimonide (InSb), indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) and the quantum-well infrared photo detector (QWIP). A number of missile homing systems, airborne targeting pods, cameras for armoured vehicles, portable binoculars and other applications on land-based, naval and airborne platforms utilise Sofradir’s combat proven equipment. Sofradir is uniquely positioned in Europe as the only manufacturer of IR detectors already used for applications in space.
The new head office of Sofradir, founded in 1986 in France, is located at Palaiseau in the vicinity of Paris. Mass production is carried out at Veurey-Voroize, near Grenoble. Sofradir owns two subsidiaries: ULIS, manufacturer of microbolometers based at Veurey-Voroize and Sofradir EC, supplier of IR modules, located in Fairfield, New Jersey, USA. Sofradir, ULIS and Sofradir EC employ about 700 people with combined turnover of €180 million in 2013.