Paul van Gerven
17 December 2021

Upon his retirement, Pim Kat has been bestowed the royal honor of becoming Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau. Kat founded the Alkmaar-based engineering outfit Technobis, out of which the integrated photonic sensing activities were carved at the start of this year. Serving as CTO at this independent entity, called Photonfirst, Kat has been gradually dialing down his duties there. Faced with a unique opportunity to apply the technology he helped invent in the healthcare domain, however, Kat couldn’t resist embarking on another adventure.

PhotonFirst Pim Kat 03
Credit: Photonfirst

“Pim has contributed to the role the Netherlands is playing in the field of photonics, and more specifically in indium phosphide, photonics device design, packaging, and integrated photonics. Netherlands is quickly positioning itself as a go-to country for advanced photonics competency – and this has resulted in part from the drive and success of Pim’s work in the field”, said Michael Lebby, former CEO the Optoelectronics Industry Development Association.

“Not only did Pim Kat make the first product, he also discovered the gap in the value chain. He realized that in order to bring photonics based integrated circuits to market, these had to be packaged and tested for dedicated fields of use. Combining research, application development and dedicated packaging under

one roof allowed him to unlock the market,” added Carlos Lee, director eneral of the European Photonics Industry Consortium (Epic).