Danobatgroup and Fagor Automation invest in the start-up Wooptix to enter the semiconductor field21-07-2023
- Danobatgroup, an industrial group specialising in the design and manufacture of machine tools and advanced manufacturing, and Fagor Automation, a benchmark in the development and manufacture of automation and machine control products, in partnership with the Mondragon Corporation, have acquired a share in the company Wooptix through a funding round.
- Wooptix is an expert in semiconductor metrology through wavefront phase imaging, a technique derived from adaptive optics research in astronomy.
With a view to exploring new business opportunities, Danobatgroup and Fagor Automation, with the support of the Mondragon Corporation, have taken a stake in the capital of the first spin-off company of the University of La Laguna in Tenerife, Wooptix, specialising in semiconductor metrology, through a funding round.
The round has been participated by: Bullnet Capital, CDTI (Centre for the Development of Technology and Innovation), Danobatgroup, European Innovation Council Fund (EIC), Fagor Automation, Intel Capital and Mondragón Promotion Fund.
The alliance with Wooptix aims to further underpin the bid for diversification of Danobatgroup and Fagor Automation, which is materialised through trend watching and analysis of upcoming technological companies to find new business opportunities that can tackle the challenges of the future.
The Canarian company, originated at the University of La Laguna, sprouted from the experience in astrophysics in taking images in space using a technology that captures light in its entirety. Thanks to the Light Field and Wavefront Phase technologies, Wooptix has developed proprietary formulas and patents that can be applied to different solutions and products. This is a wide-spanning technology that can be applied in a multitude of fields.
An example of this is the field of advanced semiconductor manufacturing, where wavefront phase imaging is used as a new semiconductor metrology technique to measure wafer geometry, capturing millions of data points in a few milliseconds with sub-nanometre height precision and a higher spatial resolution than any other technique.
Danobatgroup and Fagor Automation would like to delve deeper into this field, the semiconductor sector, as they see interesting business opportunities thanks to this collaboration with Wooptix. An area already familiar to both entities, as Fagor Automation has an outstanding track record in the development of production and measurement equipment in the semiconductor industry, and Danobatgroup has links with this industry, through Danobat´s subsidiary Hembrug, which designs and manufactures precision turning solutions for the machining of critical parts that are included in semiconductors.
"Wooptix is a company with a very disruptive technology, whose origins lie in astrophysics, but its application is breaking new ground in many other fields, such as in the semiconductors sector. This is a fast-growing sector with great potential, and because of our industrial background, we can contribute with our network of contacts and knowledge for the industrialisation phase of the application. This cooperation also gives us the opportunity to gain a deeper insight into the technology and its field of application and thus identify new business opportunities," says Nerea Aranguren, Director of Innovation at Danobatgroup.
"At Fagor Automation, continuous investment in innovation is ingrained in our corporate culture. We are committed to finding new ways to advance in the technological field, and to this end we collaborate with Wooptix, broadening our horizons towards new technologies. Our aim is to gain a deeper understanding of the semiconductor industry. This will allow us to offer innovative solutions to our customers based on our extensive capabilities in the area of feedback and automation", says Jose Emilio Oti, R&D Director at Fagor Automation.
The Mondragon Business Development Centre participates in the operation through its venture capital fund for investment in start-ups, a tool aimed at supporting the different cooperatives of the Corporation to tackle new challenges, keep up with ongoing transformations and raise their market position.
With 65 years of experience in the field of technologies applied to industrial manufacturing, Danobatgroup has a staff of over 1,400 highly qualified people. The group is an international benchmark in the sector of machine tools and technologies applied to industrial manufacturing.
About Fagor Automation
With 30 of its own branches and more than 40 dealers around the world, Fagor Automation is today one of the leading companies in the global machine tool industry. The company’s priority is commitment to quality, innovation and customer satisfaction. In its constant bid for the most advanced technology and excellence in customer service, Fagor Automation has become a benchmark in the automation sector.
About the Mondragon Corporation
This co-operative business group is made up of some hundred co-operatives that trade on the global market with a business model that revolves around active involvement of people for the progress of all. Finance, Industry, Distribution and Knowledge are the business areas of MONDRAGON´s co-operatives. Its aggregate sales exceed €10.5 billion, with a workforce of 70,000 people.
Wooptix is an expert in semiconductor metrology through wavefront phase imaging, a technique derived from adaptive optics research in astronomy.
The company has developed Phemet®, a silicon wafer measurement tool, which is the pre-release version of the next fully automated manufactured tool, expected in 2024.
Wooptix was founded in 2016 as a spin-off of the University of La Laguna, connected to the Instituto de Astrofísica-Canarias (IAC). It is currently based in Tenerife, Madrid and San Francisco.