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Osram invests in UV LED specialist Bolb Inc.
Osram acquires around 20 percent of US company Bolb Inc. via its venture capital arm Fluxunit
Strategic investment is an important building block for the development of cutting-edge UV-C LED products
Special lighting technology enables disinfection of water, surfaces and air
With its investment in the California-based UV-C LED specialist Bolb Inc., Osram is further expanding its technological know-how of disinfection applications with UV-C light. The future cooperation between the two companies in the field of research will accelerate the industrialization of highly efficient and high-performance UV-C LEDs. Unlike previous solutions, LED-based disinfection systems require very little space and can be installed directly at the point of use - such as in water taps, washing machines or ventilation systems. Space-saving disinfection solutions make an important contribution to combating the coronavirus. According to Allied Market Research, the market for UV disinfection solutions is currently worth around one billion euros. This figure is expected to quadruple by 2027. Market researchers also expect the share of UV-C LED solutions to grow steadily.
"Osram already has various UV-C light solutions for disinfection, including LED and traditional technologies. The strategic investment in Bolb strengthens our know-how in the UV-C LED field and gives Osram a leading position in the market for disinfection with non-visible light," said Olaf Berlien, CEO of OSRAM Licht AG.
Currently, the majority of UV-C disinfection applications are based on conventional lighting technologies, usually mercury vapor lamps. Compared to these traditional lamps, UV-C LED technology has the potential to consume significantly less energy, while still providing the high light output required. The collaboration between Osram and Bolb promises to overcome this technological hurdle. Thanks to a unique technological building block for UV-C LEDs, Bolb is already succeeding in achieving outstanding efficiency values that are far ahead of other products available on the market. “With Osram's decades of experience in the development and manufacturing of semiconductor-based products, this partnership sets the course for Osram and Bolb to lead the market for UV-C LEDs,” said Ulrich Eisele, head of Fluxunit, Osram's venture capital unit.
Similar to the many advantages LEDs provide for conventional lighting applications versus traditional lighting technologies, UV-C LEDs promise a variety of benefits for manufacturers of disinfection solutions. These include lower energy consumption, long lifetime and significantly simplified system design due to the compact size of the light sources.
Fluxunit is the independent venture capital arm of OSRAM. Building on OSRAM’s leading market position in optical solutions, Fluxunit invests in deep-tech start-ups, which reach beyond OSRAM’s core business and have the potential to disrupt and innovate existing technologies and business models. Fluxunit’s goal is to offer start-ups not only capital, but also access to OSRAM’s resources and global network in order to foster and accelerate their development. Find out more about Fluxunit at www.fluxunit.de.
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