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Zecotek Photonics Inc. (TSX-V:ZMS) (Frankfurt:W1I) is pleased to provide a summarized update of the Company's progress and recent corporate activities as it moves the Company's portfolio of photonic technologies into production and manufacturing.
"We continue to successfully execute our business strategy of bringing photonic technologies to market through strong industry partnerships," said Dr. A. F. Zerrouk, Chairman, President and CEO of Zecotek. "In February 2008 we signed a manufacturing, commercialization and joint development agreement with Fujikura Ltd. of Japan. By combining Fujikura's outstanding manufacturing and product engineering capabilities with Zecotek's strength in innovation, patents and product portfolio, we have created a new world-class laser enterprise with outstanding market potential. Furthermore, we have strengthened our internal marketing programs and have participated in a number of events such as the Photonics West trade show and the IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium, which have noticeably accelerated both inquiries and orders for all of our product lines. Our full range of laser products, high-performance crystals and solid-state photo detectors are meeting and exceeding quality and production parameters with a growing list of key U.S. and European customers. 2008 promises to be an excellent year for Zecotek."
Zecotek operates three distinct divisions: Laser Systems, Imaging Systems and 3D Display Systems, and develops leading-edge enabling photonic technology and products: laser systems and component, advanced crystals, solid-state photo detectors and other imaging and 3D display technologies, which address central needs in the major markets of material processing, bio-science high-energy, new materials, research, multimedia and security. The Company has labs located in Canada, the United States, Singapore, Malaysia and Russia with its main in-house production facilities in Singapore and Novosibirsk, Russia. Zecotek has outsourced high-volume product manufacturing through strategic alliances with leading industry partners: Northrop Grumman (U.S.A) for Zecotek's patented LFS scintiallation material, Fujikura Ltd. (Japan) for fiber and solid-state laser systems, Malaysian Institute of Microelectronics (Malaysia) for the solid-state MAPD photo detectors and Anteryon BV (Netherlands) for a key component of the 3D display screen.
With the recent announcement of a manufacturing and distribution agreement with Fujikura Ltd. of Japan, Zecotek is positioned to become a leading supplier in the global laser systems and components industry. The relationship will immediately focus on producing Zecotek's proprietary Green Fiber Laser with priority in genomics and Zecotek/Fujikura joint high-power visible fiber laser for laser machining. Both companies will pool resources to manufacture new lines of visible wavelength lasers aimed at significant markets in bio-instrumentation and the processing of a wide range of industrial, consumer based and research materials. Fujikura's strong presence and brand will be used to penetrate key Japanese and Asian markets while Zecotek retains Market Tech U.S.A for non-exclusive distribution within North America.
In recent months Zecotek has strengthened its sales and marketing efforts, which together with participation at key trade shows, has significantly increased sales inquiries and orders for its broad range of lasers systems and components. Revenue is growing and the Company looks to build off of recent sales success to leading research and development institutions:
* Department of Physics at the University of Illinois,
* Institute for Quantum Computing, University of Waterloo, Canada.
* Korea's prestigious Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology
* The National Institute of Health, U.S.A.
In Q2 fiscal 2008 Zecotek's Singapore crystal growing facilities initiated production of its proprietary high performance Rare-Earth Fine Oxide (RFO) vanadate crystals. A key component in solid-state lasers, the RFO Vanadate crystal is the next generation replacement for the YAG crystal, presently used in approximately 60% of all laser crystal applications. Zecotek Laser Systems also provides the cutting, polishing and coating of the final crystal product.
Zecotek's RFO vanadate crystal has both proven cost and performance superiority to competing crystals. Initial orders of the high-performance crystal have been delivered to a major laser supplier. Zecotek is expanding production facilities to supply growing demand from the existing laser market.
Zecotek has successfully developed two key photonic technologies for use in a broad range of medical and non-medical applications: Lutetium Fine Silicate (LFS) scintillation crystals and a new generation MAPD solid-state photo detector.
The company has established manufacturing and production capacity for both the LFS scintillation crystals and the MAPD photo detectors through partnerships with Northrop Grumman Corporation and the Malaysian Institute for Micro-electronics Systems. Initial product orders of both the scintillation crystals and photo detectors have been delivered to a growing number of prestigious scientific institutions:
* Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland, is using both the LFS
scintillation crystals and the MAPD photo detectors in its
next-generation Positron Emission Tomography (PET) medical
* The Institute for High Energy Physics Research, Russia, is using
the Company's MAPD photo detectors in a new high-performance
hadron calorimeter, to be used in key experiments at the European
Centre for High Energy particle Physics (CERN), Switzerland.
* The University of Geneva, Switzerland, has selected Zecotek's MAPD
photo detectors as an alternative to photo multiplier tubes (PMTs)
in the development of new calorimeters for high energy physics.
The LFS scintillation crystal and MAPD photo detector offer significant performance and cost advantage to existing technologies used in a broad range of bio-medical, industrial and high-energy applications.
Zecotek has a policy of sharing performance data and maintaining working relationships with key PET device manufacturers in the development of next-generation PET imaging development programs. To reinforce its position as a leading technology provider to the medical imaging industry, Zecotek is leading a collaborative research program with the University of Washington to develop of a proprietary PET-MRI detector as the core technology of a new generation of medical imaging systems. The major barrier to a combined PET and MRI scanning device is the strong magnetic fields of MRI which destroy the photo-detection capabilities of current PET scanning devices. Unlike the vacuum tube-based PMT, Zecotek's MAPD photo detectors can operate in highly magnetic environment of the MRI and therefore, the LFS scintillation crystals and MAPD photo-detectors will be critical enabling technologies for a successful fusion of PET and MRI into one scanning device. This new generation device will offer both higher resolution and faster patient throughput which in turn improves patient diagnostics and reduces costs to the medical system.
3D Display Systems
Zecotek has demonstrated a fully operational 32" commercial prototype of its proprietary Real-Time 3D2D Display System(c), the first 3D display offering multiple viewers true volumetric visualization while exhibiting depth and parallax over a wide viewing angle. The demonstrations have been held at the Company's Vancouver laboratories to a select group of representatives of potential industry partners. Anteryon BV of the Netherlands is producing the Company's proprietary 3D lenticular display in the 32" screen format, considered the optimum size to demonstrate its potential power and user impact. Insight Media, a leading publishing and consulting firm focused on the display industry, is providing advice and guidance on a market entry strategy for the display system.
Zecotek's Real-Time 3D2D Display is a novel, proprietary display system for the visualization of images and data. Based on the auto stereoscopic principle, but with substantial patent pending innovation, it represents a new generation of 3D displays. The design provides for multi-user, multi-view, freedom of movement, high resolution in both 3D and 2D modes, superior image dynamic range in 2D mode, 2D and 3D simultaneous displays, common brightness, compatibility with existing applications and designed to be cost competitive.
Zecotek Research & Development Programs
* New scintillation material for medical imaging to eventually serve
as a successor material to the LFS;
* Enabling technologies for combined PET-MRI detectors, in
development with the University of Washington;
* Various solid-state and fiber lasers, including a solid-state
laser for bio-instrumentation;
* Thin film waveguide micro laser technology, currently in joint
development with University of British Columbia;
* Real time auto-stereoscopic 3D display.
Zecotek Product Summary
* Growing portfolio of laser systems and components:
-- Green Fiber Laser, Model GLF-540-0.2;
-- SL 1.4 Fiber Coupled Laser;
-- CW Narrow-Band Ti: Sapphire laser, Model TIS-FD-08/A-scan-WV;
-- CW Single-Frequency Ti: Sapphire Laser, Model TIS-SF-878;
-- CW Single Frequency Ring Dye Laser;
-- TIS/DYE-FD-08/A-scan high-power, high-resolution laser
* Proprietary RFO Vanadate crystals.
* Patented LFS scintillation crystals.
* Patent-pending MAPD solid-state photon counters.
In December 2007, the Company completed an equity unit financing for gross proceeds of CDN$3.4 million with a number of institutions. The funding will be used for working capital purposes and for ongoing projects presently underway at its operating facilities in Singapore, Malaysia and Vancouver: finalizing the commercial production of the Zecotek's solid-state MAPD photo detector, addressing growing requests for the Company's fiber and solid-state lasers, initiating commercial scale production of the Company's high performance RFO vanadate laser crystals and establishing a strategic manufacturing and distribution partnership for the Company's 3D display system.
"Much of the heavy lifting in research and development is complete and we have now turned our attention to commercializing our technologies," concluded Dr. Zerrouk. "We have attracted key strategic partners with Fujikura, Northrop Grumman and the Malaysian Institute for Micro-electronics Systems and we are gearing up for commercial production. Our photonic technologies have caught the attention of highly respected scientific organizations and sales are increasing. We remain focused on executing our business plan, increasing shareholder value and thank shareholders for their continued support."
About Zecotek Photonics Inc.
Zecotek Photonics Inc. (TSX-V:ZMS) (Frankfurt:W1I) is a photonics technology company developing leading-edge products: crystals, photo detectors, lasers, imaging and 3D display technologies, for medical, biotech, industrial, nanotech and atomic/molecular science applications. Founded in 2003, the company has three distinct operating divisions: Laser Systems, Imaging Systems and 3D Display Systems and labs located in Canada, the United States, Singapore, Malaysia and Russia. Zecotek commercializes its novel, patented and patent-pending photonic technologies directly and through strategic alliances and joint ventures with multinational OEMs, distributors and other industry leaders.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements that are based on management's expectations, estimates, projections and assumptions. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks and uncertainties, which are difficult to predict. Therefore, actual future results and trends may differ materially from what may have been stated.
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Zecotek Photonics Inc.
Product and technical information:
Susana Mendez Alcala
Michael Minder, CFO; VP Corporate Development
Caliber Capital & Communications
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