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Before we go into depth on the subject of automotive and integrated photonics, who is Carol as a person?
Somebody who has always been passionate about innovation and creating new products and businesses. But also, an enthusiastic musician, playing guitar in a band even in these corona times. At home of course.
I started my career at the Philips Nat lab in the field of semiconductor processes. It was a fantastic learning environment. And because Philips wanted to grow big, I found myself after a few years managing a combined R&D and production Wafer fab. Later on I managed a new business in professional image sensors. In my entire career, the combination of R&D and new business remained. It changed from passive components to among others power devices, LCD TV’s and hard disc recorders. At some point I returned to the semiconductor field and in 2006 I was part of the team that took NXP outside Philips. I became the VP responsible for Automotive R&D. An incredible roller coaster, from NXP almost going under to strong growth towards the biggest business unit as it is now. I left NXP in 2013 but stayed in Automotive working for Sensata (in Belgium) and running a business in high temperature sensors for automotive. That grew explosively, because they are used in exhaust systems and do what “sjoemel” software cannot. When it became very operational, I decided that I wanted to be in cutting edge innovation again. And that is what I found in Integrated Photonics at PhotonDelta.
Last year, you connected with PhotonDelta and got to know our ambition to grow an ecosystem on integrated photonics in the Netherlands. What excites you and makes you part of our mission?
The combination of a very innovative technology and the business opportunities to grow is what attracts me. The Netherlands has a good position in research and technology and we are at the beginning of the growth curve. Here is where we can make a difference for our ecosystem and the Dutch economy at the same time.
An integrated photonics-based roadmap on Automotive
You will investigate the need for and possibilities for Integrated Photonic products in the Automotive market and translate this into a market-driven roadmap for Automotive technologies and applications. What is your view on the potential for integrated photonics and Automotive applications at this moment?
The automotive world is going through a huge and disruptive transition at the moment. At the same time we see a move towards electric cars AND a move towards driver support systems, autonomous cars and perhaps even robotaxi’s. These new cars will be full of new sensing systems both to monitor the car, like the battery pack which needs careful control, but also to interact with the environment, like cameras, radars and lidars or to support driver and passenger wellbeing. There are very interesting possibilities for integrated photonics there, were we can make a difference. In sensing and monitoring as well as in new generations of lidar, or in communication.
What is the horizon of the roadmap?
Automotive products have long development cycles and very strict quality control. So you are not getting in that easily as a new business partner. But we are already getting interesting contacts there. Typical development cycles are 3-4 years, with introductions about every 2 years. We are currently looking at a roadmap with a horizon of at least 6 years. You have to be able to show customers your potential, what you can achieve in the future. The automotive business is tough; we are looking at long term partnerships.
The roadmap will be drawn up with cluster partners of PhotonDelta, as well as with other relevant partners academic and industrial partners and lead customers. If people and organizations want to contribute to this roadmap with their knowledge, vision and activities on automotive, how can they join?
First of all, please join our ecosystem, we have direct contacts as well as regular meetings with our partners where general market insights and requirements as well as technical knowhow relevant for automotive is shared. And many contacts in the industry.
Furthermore, PhotonDelta can support interesting business projects, directly or through the new Photonic Integration Technology Centre. We are looking forward to new opportunities. Do not hesitate and send me an email to get in touch!
Carol de Vries is working on the PhotonDelta roadmap for Automotive and on the Photonic Integration Technology Centre.
The e-mailadress of Carol is Carol@photondelta.eu
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