Dr. Rama Rao

RRCM


EXCEL

Financial Physics

financial physics

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Excel collaborates with Russian institute

Collaborating with a Russian technical institute is just one more step in Rama Rao's plan to take Excel Technology (Holbrook, NY) out of the garage, so to speak, and into the big time.

"I have one chance to prove that you can take a few SBIRs and turn them into a $10-$20 million company," Rao, Excel founder and president, said. Until going public in May, SBIRs -- Small Business Innovation Research grants -- have been Rao's primary source of funding for Excel, a Ti:sapphire laser manufacturing firm with its eyes on the medical field.

Rao spent the week of Sept. 21-28 visiting the Byelorussian Polytechnic Institute (BPI -- Minsk, USSR), particularly BPI's Laser & Electronic Engineering Department -- where, he said, some 60 Ph.D.-level scientists are working on laser-related research and development but are "completely isolated from the outside world."

One of his goals for this collaboration is to bring to BPI the marketing and manufacturing expertise he said the institute currently lacks. For all its laser R&D experience, BPI currently has no commercial application involving any of its laser products, he said. Among the projects Rao claims Excel and BPI are working on are the utilization of several crystals grown only in Russia; a more efficient holmium laser; and a three-color Ti:sapphire laser for video displays.

Rao believes his company's success lies in medical lasers, and plans to focus on developing short-end solid-state tunable laser products that require shorter FDA approval time and lower doctor maintenance.

(From an article by Kathy Kincade, Laser Report.)