Benjamin Dusser, tell us about Qiova :
BD : "QiOVA Qiova is an innovative startup that specializes in laser marking and micromachining. Sébastien Landon and I founded the company in 2011 following our PhD research on optics, pulsed lasers, and traceability at the Hubert Curien Laboratory in St. Etienne. Our customers are eligible to apply for tax rebates under France’s innovation and research tax credit program.
We develop and commercialize the VULQ1™, a new generation of innovative laser heads that can control multiple laser points—rather than the usual one—simultaneously using software specially developed for this purpose.
Splitting a laser beam into multiple beams that can be projected onto a material and controlled in real time is a totally new way to use a laser beam. It is smarter and more flexible and responds to the challenges of Industry 4.0. Processes can be run multiple times in parallel and production speeds can be increased (for example, by projecting all points of a data matrix simultaneously).
Qiova currently has nine employees. We plan to hire three new engineers and an administrative support person to help roll out our international development roadmap."
What made you decide to join Minalogic?
BD : "When Sébastien and I finished school and decided to start a business back in 2011, we needed to build our network in order to find the potential partners and customers we would need to succeed as a company.
At the time, the optics cluster in St. Etienne (Pôle Optique Rhône-Alpes) was an important resource for us. We were able to take advantage of the cluster’s Optics-Photonics Days, where we pitched our business and benefitted from targeted introductions to key contacts.
When Minalogic merged with the cluster in St. Etienne, it gave us an opportunity to further expand our network."
What collaborative R&D projects have you participated in?
BD : "We are currently involved in an Easytech project with the Hubert Curien Laboratory to develop an electronic circuit board to run a new range of high-throughput laser heads."
What services have you used since joining Minalogic?
BD : "Minalogic offers a range of services that are particularly beneficial to startups like ours.
We have used quite a few services. Off the top of my head, the Minalogic Business Meetings; communications through the newsletter, website, and social media; recruitment, by publishing our job openings on the Minalogic website and receiving a new selection of CVs every month; and targeted introductions to key contacts, including one that led to us working with Vision Systems.
In terms of our international development, Minalogic has given us invaluable support to help us get the most out of top international photonics events like Photonics West in San Francisco and Laser World of Photonics in Munich, assisting with things like logistics and tech intelligence.
We also received quality support with international partnership projects (Japan)."
What kinds of partnerships are you looking for as a Minalogic member? Business? Innovation?
BD : "Given where we are in our development, both kinds of partnerships are vital for us. We are excited to meet with industrial companies, universities, and research organizations to talk about how we can work together on tomorrow’s innovations and to explore how our laser know-how could help solve other members’ problems.
This is exactly what we love about Minalogic: the opportunity to combine our skills with those of our partners to drive growth for everyone involved!."