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Dartmouth’s MTI Gets Cash For Marketing Initiative

A Dartmouth company that developed a technology for protecting pilots’ eyes from laser strikes will use an infusion of new money to help bring its thin-film nanotechnology products to market.

“We invested in Metamaterial Technologies Inc. because it has the rare combination of great management, excellent advisors, a patented, versatile technology and enormous market potential,” said Ross Finlay, co-founder and director of the First Angel Network (FAN)

FAN and the Wilmington Investor Network of North Carolina announced Tuesday an investment in Metamaterial Technologies Inc. The investors did not say how much they are putting in but stated investment targets for early-stage companies typically range between $200,000 and $2 million.

MTI is a smart materials and photonics company that is changing the way we use, interact, and benefit from light. The company has developed a new patented platform technology with a variety of thin-film metamaterials that are capable of dramatically changing the way light can be manipulated. These thin-films can absorb, block or enhance light.

The company’s Lamda Guard division develops products that can selectively block light of specific colours or wavelengths. It has developed a product called metaAIR that can be applied on the entire inside surface of a cockpit’s windscreen to block laser beams and protect the pilot’s vision.

“We are committed to helping MTI become a successful and profitable company and we are eager to see this company make a difference in air safety, starting with protecting pilots from laser strikes,” said Michael Cain, managing member of Wilmington.

In 2014, the company signed an agreement with leading aircraft manufacturer Airbus, to test the breakthrough innovation and is now moving to the commercialization phase.

“They have a solid partnership with Airbus,” Finlay said, adding commercial aircraft laser attacks have received a lot of press lately after Virgin Airlines planes and the Pope’s aircraft were struck by lasers.

“MTI seems to be in the right place at just the right time,” he said.

According to the American Federal Aviation Authority, aircraft laser strikes in the U.S. have nearly doubled to 7,703 in 2015, from 3,900 reported the previous year.

MTI is happy to have the support.

“In addition to offering us guidance from a pool of experienced investors, the FAN-WIN alliance helps MTI open doors into the U.S. market, which is key to our growth and development,” said George Palikaras, president and CEO of MTI.