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Alfalight Gets $3.8M From DARPA - Funding has increased to $8.5 Million

MADISON, Wis. –. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), has awarded Alfalight a $3.9 million grant for Research and Development under the DARPA Super High Efficiency Diode Source (SHEDS) program. There are options that could increase the funding to a total award of $5.3 million.

Alfalight, founded in Madison in 1998, last week received a $4.6 million contract in an appropriations bill passed by Congress bringing their total dollars in new contracts and grants to $8.5-$8.9 million in just one week. The company is a University of Wisconsin-Madison spinout. The company is an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of high-powered diode lasers. Their solutions are used in industrial, defense, and telecommunications applications.

The technologies that Alfalight incorporates into its products was developed at the Reed Center of Photonics, an engineering research center UW-Madison.

The Super High Efficiency Diode Source (SHEDS) program will investigate innovative approaches that enable revolutionary advances in semiconductor diode laser bar efficiency. The goal of the SHEDS program is to increase diode laser wall plug efficiency to 65% in the first 18 months of the project, with a target of 80% in the following 18 months

"Alfalight has already dedicated significant research and development
resources toward improving diode laser efficiency, and DARPA's SHEDS program is the ideal opportunity for us to take our technology to the next level," said Tom Earles, co-founder and chief technical officer of Alfalight. "Funding from DARPA will enable us to enhance our technology to build better diode laser products for the defense industry."
"I am very pleased to see a local Wisconsin firm selected for this research and development contract," said U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). "I am very impressed with the incredible work done at Alfalight. "During budget deliberations, I was happy to help cement this exciting new federal private partnership with a firm in our community."

"I know Alfalight and its capabilities, and also understand the critical need to increase efficiencies in both diode lasers and their manufacture. Alfalight and its employees should be very proud of their cutting-edge technology that allowed them to win this contract. Wisconsin's high technology industry is growing, and Alfalight is helping lead the way,” said Baldwin."

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