Exitech Limited, the Oxford-based specialists in the use of lasers for micro and nanofabrication applications in industry went into administration on 12 October due to cash flow difficulties. More recently, the joint administrators from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, announced that it had been necessary to make 31 employees redundant in order to ensure trading could continue while a buyer for the business was sought.
Exitech have been one of the UK's great success stories in the field of photonics and I'm sure AILU members will find it unbelievable that this should happen, especially at a time when the UK (and world) photonics community is so optimistic about the future. Only in June this year we had one of our most successful micro processing workshops at Exitech, which included an amazing tour of their industrial micro processing machines under construction and testing. The attendance was high and the mood incredibly upbeat.
One might hope that a bank would have sufficient appreciation of the growth potential of the photonics industry not to force the collapse of a world class company like Exitech. Clearly in this case it was asking too much, and tragic that it should happen so quickly that there is little anyone could do about it.