Daylight Solutions highlighted in May 2011 newsletter of the Center for Commercialization of Advanced Technology (CCAT)


May 18, 2011 – DAYLIGHT SOLUTIONS – A CCAT Success Story

From New Start Up in 2004 to Today’s World Leader in Mid-IR Solutions for Molecular Detection and Imaging

Daylight Solutions was co-founded in 2004 by two San Diego engineers (Dr. Timothy Day and Paul Larson) with deep experience in photonics, telecommunications, and microelectronics. After surveying the market for technology development opportunities, the partners determined that there was a bright future for new investments in mid-infrared (mid-IR) technologies for molecular detection and imaging that could be applied across multiple industries. Using their own resources, Daylight Solutions developed its core technology and IP around external cavity quantum cascade lasers(ECqcLâ„¢) that now serve as “building blocks” that can be applied to a variety of products for molecular detection and imaging applications.

The young company responded to a CCAT national solicitation which was seeking new innovations that could address critical national defense needs. CCAT evaluated their proposal against numerous others and put them through a rigorous competitive selection process. The result was an award of funding to the company to further develop one of the key components that eventually led to the successful commercialization of their first quantum cascade laser system. In addition, they were awarded a market study conducted by the SDSU Entrepreneurial Management Center to help the company understand the competitive landscape and identify viable market sectors and entry points.

In the few short years since company formation, Daylight Solutions has developed and commercialized a number of products whose core technologies were developed in part through CCAT early support.

Products include:

  • Compact portable sensors to detect chemical agent weapons; these miniaturized sensors capture the complete fingerprint of all surrounding molecules, which are then analyzed in real time to determine the presence of a threat
  • High power lasers used in infrared countermeasures systems to defeat aircraft attacks by shoulder-fired missiles; i.e. man portable air defense systems (MANPADS)
  • Breath diagnostics in medical applications
  • Environmental and Industrial Monitoring
  • Monitoring of anesthesia and blood glucose in operating rooms

In addition, the defense market views Daylight’s high power lasers as the next generation technology. For example, Daylight’s core technologies have been integrated into ruggedized laser systems for defense applications. These products form the backbone of the Defense Department’s infrared countermeasure (IRCM) systems. Named “JammIRâ„¢”, these products provide high power capability while offering order-of-magnitude improvements in lifetime, reliability, and cost.

The company has grown 100% each year for the past 4 years in both revenue and employees. At the time of the CCAT investment, the company had 7 employees. Today, there are 75 employees with the company. Daylight Solutions is also the recipient of several awards including: 2009 National Prism Award for Innovation, 2006 PhAST/LFW Innovation Award, among others.

Excerpt from CCAT NEWSLETTER San Diego – May 2011

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