Press Release

Photonics Company Ocean Insight Expands Operations in Orlando Adding 100 New High-Wage Jobs

Ocean Insight is known for inventing the world’s first miniature spectrometer

Ocean Insight cut the ribbon on its new corporate headquarters in Orlando. Photo credit: Orange County Government

Orlando, Fla. – Optical sensor manufacturer and applied insights company Ocean Insight is expanding in Orlando, investing $4 million in its new facility and planning to create 100 new jobs over the next three years. These high-wage jobs will pay an average wage more than 125 percent of the average wage in Orange County and the company is actively hiring.

“Having a world-class facility enables Ocean Insight to inspire our employees to contribute their best and deliver results,” said the President of Ocean Insight, Michael Edwards, Ph.D.

“Ocean benefits substantially by having close proximity, through the Orlando community, to world-class machine shops, electronics vendors, and other suppliers. This backbone of industry makes Orlando also a rich pool of technical talent, which assists us in recruiting to the area as well as providing great local employee options.”

Michael Edwards, Ph.D., President of Ocean Insight

“We appreciate Ocean Insight’s commitment to Florida,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Their $4 million dollar investment and promise of 100 new high-quality jobs is a significant boost to the ever-growing High-Tech Corridor in central Florida. We wish Ocean Insight success and look forward to their continued growth.”

The company’s new 52,000-square-foot facility in Central Florida Research Park encompasses the company’s corporate headquarters as well as manufacturing, engineering, and administrative teams. A large portion of the products manufactured at the company’s Orlando facility are exported around the world and are used in essential industries including medical devices and defense.

Ocean Insight office. Photo credit: Orange County Government

“The new facility gives us more capacity, flexibility, and opportunity for automation,” says John Hsing, Ocean Insight’s Chief Operating Officer. “And the ability to change production lines, so we can build a better-quality product and increase capacity with the same number of people that we have now. The new space also better reflects Ocean Insight as a high-tech photonics business.”

The customized space is designed for maximum manufacturing efficiency and to provide a more engaging experience for visitors. Safety practices are integrated into the building design such as the use of shields and partitions to separate workstations.

The company employs over 200 people around the world with additional offices in Europe, India, and China. More than half of those employees are currently based in the company’s Orlando operations.

“We appreciate this longstanding partner in Florida’s tech community,” said Florida Secretary of Commerce Jamal Sowell, the president and CEO of Enterprise Florida. “Ocean Insight has been a consistent regional community partner and we hope that continues for many years to come.”

Ocean Insight has a 30-year history in Florida’s high-tech corridor. The company was originally founded by two researchers from University of Central Florida (UCF) and University of South Florida (USF) who invented a miniature-sized spectrometer while working on a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the Department of Energy. The new spectrometer enabled vast applications for spectrometry and sensing technologies, and the company has since grown its product line to include modular spectrometers, multispectral sensors, and fiber optic accessories in addition to technical services. The technology is used in a variety of applications including medical diagnostic tools, food sorting and pollution monitoring solutions.

The strong optics and photonics presence in the Orlando region is one of the biggest reasons Ocean Insight choose to expand there. Central Florida Research Park is the nation’s sixth largest with specialized research labs and one of the top technology incubation systems in the U.S. Large employers like Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Siemens all have a major presence in the area, attracting key specialized talent to the region.

“Ocean Insight is a prime example of the importance of investing in technology research and fostering the commercialization of scientific innovation,” said Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings.

“Ocean Insight’s growth in our community is a testament to our optics and photonics cluster’s strong appeal to industry.”

Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings

The benefits of a low cost of living and ease of doing business in the region also played a role in the company’s decision, as well as access to major highways, lodging and Orlando International Airport (MCO). Plus, Orlando’s status as a top visitor destination makes it easy to host client visits and training sessions for employees.

“The success of companies like Ocean Insight are the perfect example of an ‘Orlando. You don’t know the half of it.’ story, and we are thrilled to support the company’s growth here,” said Tim Giuliani, president and CEO of the Orlando Economic Partnership. “Most people know Orlando for its tourism industry, but we have been a leader in photonics dating back to the 1960’s space race and continue to grow in this area of expertise.”

The Orlando Economic Partnership worked together with the State of Florida, Enterprise Florida, Orange County, Duke Energy and JLL to support the company’s growth in Orlando. The Partnership assisted with fast-tracking the company’s permitting process in collaboration with Orange County. The Partnership also assisted the company with applying for a sales tax exemption for manufacturers.

Ocean Insight employee working in its manufacturing facility. Photo credit: Orange County Government

For more information, please contact Laureen Martinez at 407-242-3982 or at Laureen.Martinez@Orlando.org.

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About Ocean Insight

Ocean Insight is the Applied Spectral Knowledge company. We use spectral technology, application expertise, and manufacturing scalability to help customers take on important challenges for a safer, cleaner, healthier future.

About the Orlando Economic Partnership
The Orlando Economic Partnership (the Partnership) is a public-private, not-for-profit economic and community development organization that works to advance broad-based prosperity by strengthening Orlando’s economy, amplifying Orlando’s story, championing regional priorities, empowering community leaders and building a brilliant region. These five foundational objectives serve to improve the region’s competitiveness while responding to the needs of communities, residents and businesses.