Laser industry pioneer Jean-Michel Pelaprat joins the BluGlass (ASX:BLG) board, May 2021


by Michael Luu

BluGlass Limited (ASX:BLG) Non-Executive Director Jean-Michel Pelaprat talks about joining BluGlass, his experience, and the future for BluGlass's gallium nitride technology.

Michael Luu:
Semiconductor technology developer BluGlass (ASX:BLG) has recently welcomed a veteran in the laser diode industry to the company's board of directors. Today, we get to learn more about the clean technology innovator's new Non-Executive Director, Jean-Michel Pelaprat. Hi, Jean-Michel. Thanks for taking your time to join us from the US. First off, congratulations on your recent appointment. Many investors are now eager to find out about the new director. Could you quench their curiosity by letting us know a little bit more about your background and expertise in the industry?

Jean-Michel Pelaprat: Thank you very much, Michael. It's a pleasure to be here. I have more than 30 years of industry or entrepreneurial experience in the photonics and the laser industry, during which I held the CEO, senior executive, founder and board positions at private and large public companies. I had the privilege to pioneer several disruptive technologies over that period of time. When I was at Coherent, for instance, as VP and general manager, we developed the first-ever semi-conductor blue laser for bioinstrumentation. These lasers are used today in very large volume and have expanded into different colours, different powers, and many other applications. Later on, as CEO of Novalux, a Silicon valley startup, we pioneered the first red, green and blue semiconductor laser as a light engine for cinema in large- and small-venue projectors. These light engines have been implemented in large numbers at movie theaters worldwide. A few years ago I also co-funded NUBURU, where we manufactured blue lasers for industrial and 3D-printing applications. These blue lasers solve critical issues in the manufacturing of lithium ion batteries, from your cell phone to your cars, to trucks, but also manufacturing of electrical vehicles and many products for the electrification of the world. They are using the same gallium nitride blue semiconductor that BluGlass is developing.

Michael Luu: So, I can see that you're bringing a huge wealth of experience to the board. After evaluating the company and its opportunity, can you tell us what attracted you to the role in the BluGlass leadership?

Jean-Michel Pelaprat: The laser industry rarely brings disruptive technologies. Gallium nitride blue laser technology is one of them, and the demand is very strong. BluGlass's unique technology approach for high-powered gallium nitride lasers has great potential to disrupt this high-demand market, with significant untapped opportunities and very few competitors. After spending time with the BluGlass leadership team and understanding the technology as well as the company's future plans, I can see many parallels with my previous successful experiences in emerging technology corporations.

Michael Luu: Now, it sounds like there is rapid transformation in a sector with huge growth opportunities. Where do you see the industry heading, and why do you think BluGlass can thrive in it?

Jean-Michel Pelaprat: As I mentioned, gallium nitride lasers has great potential to disrupt these high-demand markets, from energy storage to electrical vehicles, but also in consumer electronic manufacturing, high-density lamps for automotive instrumentation, and quite a few other market segments. Gallium nitride as a technology is at an early stage and has yet to deliver its full potential technically in applications. The efficiency, for instance, has a large room for growth, and power will continue to substantially improve over the years, making this technology even more desirable over time. BluGlass is well positioned, I believe, to address this large domain with very few competitors. Furthermore, its RPCVD technology should create a solid competitive differentiation.

Michael Luu: And, finally, what are you most excited to bring to the company

Jean-Michel Pelaprat: As BluGlass launches its first commercial lasers to market, enters production and ramps up revenues. I look forward to contributing my skills, knowledge and experience to help the company navigate the markets, but also its applications, and simply help them to grow.

Michael Luu: Jean-Michel, thank you so much for letting us get to know you a little bit better and we wish you the best of luck in your new role.

Jean-Michel Pelaprat: Thank you very much, Michael.


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