Osaka University promoting photonics startup activities


Tokyo-based “Tex” Pomeroy and Kyoto-based Taijiro Takeda contributed to this story.

Osaka University Photonics Center Executive Director Satoshi Kawata speaks at a press briefing.
(Photo by Taijiro Takeda)

See the original story in Japanese.

Osaka University Photonics Center, which conducts advanced R&D on advanced photonics including laser and nano-optics, held it’s seventh “Photonics Day” on 2nd February at the university’s Suita Campus. This project commenced as a startup/product development project in 2011. Beginning with 4 projects selected in the initial year, followed in 2012 by 3 projects and in 2013 by 2 projects, a total of 9 projects out of 44 applications are being carried out under approval; to date all projects have had some input from the university, whether at faculty or student level.

Of the many project results for this year’s Photonics Day, one of the most noteworthy was “the eco-light bulb adopting a thermal radiation spectrum”. This new type of incandescent light bulb, by opening 100nm-order holes on the filament surface, enables control of hear emission. By cutting down the infrared emission level, the temperature is kept down while realizing a light-emission ratio of nearly 90% which is better than that offered by the light-emitting diode (LED converts 50% of the electric power it uses to light, while the conventional incandescent light bulb offers a conversion ratio of only 10%).

The eco-light bulb adopting a thermal radiation spectrum (Photo by Taijiro Takeda)

White LED lighting has limitations as to wavelengths and thus seem “cold” to the human eye, while incandescent bulbs can realize full wavelengths – some restaurants still retain the old lighting system in the foods section due to this. However, large manufacturers like Panasonic and Hitachi are now dropping production of the old light bulbs so the product can gain this niche market when it becomes available widely.

Other topics such as multilateral collaboration and fund procurement were also discussed at the event. Photonics Center Executive Director Satoshi Kawata noted that he hopes to realize as is Schumpeter’s idea that “innovation is not technological revolution but the building of a new paradigm” and urged participants to actually produce results with their own hands.

Regarding other items unveiled by the Photonics Center, the website links are as below: