Interview with Jean-François Delepau, ULIS
Jean-François Delepau, tell us about Ulis :
JFP : "ULIS, a subsidiary of Sofradir, designs and manufactures innovative thermal imaging sensors for commercial- and military-grade products. ULIS sensors are also compatible with consumer-grade infrared and electronic equipment manufacturers’ needs in terms of volume manufacturing lightweight, affordable, and energy-efficient thermal cameras.
Since ULIS was founded in 2002, the company has become the world’s second-leading manufacturer of thermal image sensors, or microbolometers. We offer a targeted lineup of microbolometers, a crucial component in the thermal imaging equipment manufactured by several leading brands sold in Europe, Asia, and North America. ULIS is located in Veurey-Voroize near Grenoble and has 200 employees.
ULIS wants to make thermal sensors accessible to the mass market so that as many users as possible can take advantage of and afford the technology. Our aim is to bring high-growth industries like smart buildings, automotive, and consumer electronics the benefits of thermal detection technology. We are working on a new generation of thermal sensor—a key component for these markets—that is more compact, affordable, and easier to mass-produce than the current generation of sensors."
What made you decide to join Minalogic ?
JFP : "Minalogic brings together stakeholders from research and industry to support the local innovation ecosystem. When Minalogic was set up in 2005, ULIS very rapidly joined, convinced that the cluster was a key resource for microelectronics-industry (and, specifically, imaging-industry) professionals".
What collaborative R&D projects are you involved in ?
How are you contributing ?
JFP : "Over the past several years ULIS has contributed actively to several collaborative R&D projects, both at the national and European levels. The financing we receive for these projects supports our own R&D objectives, of course. But beyond that, the projects give us valuable opportunities to build a network of strategic partners that covers the entire value chain. Ideally, we like to position ULIS as project lead or coordinator, but we can also be a very effective project partner.
The most recent projects we have completed and those still in progress have helped our company make the technological innovations we have needed to move our products forward in terms of manufacturing and address new markets by demonstrating the benefits of infrared technology for new applications like smart buildings and all-weather driver-assistance systems.
ULIS is currently coordinating the Hiperion project, backed by the French Single Interministerial Fund."
What services have you used since joining Minalogic ?
JFP : "ULIS has primarily taken advantage of Minalogic’s assistance putting together submissions for projects eligible for government funding. But Minalogic’s network has also contributed to raising ULIS’s profile."
What kinds of partnerships are you looking for as a Minalogic member ? Business ? Innovation ?
JFP : "We are looking for introductions to potential academic research and tech R&D partners. We are also open to partnerships with other manufacturing companies capable of aligning user benefits with an appropriate product or service lineup."