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Home-grown tech manufacturer plans 50,000-square-foot plant in Seminole

Home-grown tech manufacturer plans 50,000-square-foot plant in Seminole
On 6 acres that OptiGrate purchased before being acquired by IPG last year, the tech company seeks to build a 50,000-square-foot plant next to its existing facility on South Econ Circle in Oviedo. (LBYD Engineers)

Central Florida-based OptiGrate Corp. will expand into a new 50,000-square-foot facility called IPG Oviedo Technology Center, bearing the name of the company that purchased the local laser manufacturer and researcher last year.

Last week, IPG Photonics Corp. submitted a pre-application and site plan for the proposed facility on 6 acres next to OptiGrate's current facility at 562 S. Econ Circle. The move reflects the success of OptiGrate's union with IPG, a Massachusetts-based company that bills itself as a world leader in high-power lasers and amplifiers.

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"The new 50,000-square-foot-building is intended for expansion of IPG's manufacturing facility owing to growing demand for the holographic optical components made at the Oviedo manufacturing facility," said Alexei Glebov, president and general manager of OptiGrate, told GrowthSpotter on Wednesday. "Also, the new facility targets growth of development and manufacturing of laser systems at the IPG Oviedo Technology Center."

Glebov said the company plans to submit building-design blueprints to the county by year's end. IPG is currently in the process of selecting a general contractor for the project and is considering a number of candidates in the Greater Orlando Area, Glebov said.

"We would like to begin construction in 2019 and expect the project to be completed over a multi-year time horizon," Glebov said in his e-mail. The civil engineer for the project is LBYD Engineers of St. Petersburg.

Glebov said he expects the total project investment to be about $10 million. OptiGrate purchased the land for $300,000 in January 2016, prior to the acquisition by IPG.

The union of IPG and OptiGrate was testimony to the pioneering research and innovation genius of OptiGrate founder Leonid Glebov, a Russian émigré who was recruited by the University of Central Florida, where Glebov became a research professor of optics and photonics.

UCF's business incubator helped Glebov turn his research into a business, OptiGrate, in 1999. The company specializes in Volume Bragg Gratings (VBGs) that improve the performance, miniaturization and cost reduction of ultrafast, pulsed lasers, according to a company news release.

Glebov's son, physicist Alexei Glebov was recruited from his job in Silicon Valley to run the company in 2008.

"Photonics is still pretty small," Alexei said in a September 2013 edition of I4 Business Magazine. "The company needed leadership with an industrial background. That's why Dad brought me here. I've seen the industry from the other side. I am the business guy.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact us at newsroom@growthspotter.com or 407-420-5427. Follow GrowthSpotter on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

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