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Industry News, May - June 2015

Adlens® CEO offers business advice to Dublin Institute of Technology

FMO Chief Executive resigns

FMO and ABDO Collaborate in New Manfacturing Education

Adlens® champions social innovation through the Leading for Impact programme

Adlens® CEO Michael C Ferrara offers business advice to Dublin Institute of Technology

June 2015

Michael C Ferrara, CEO & Executive Chairman of Adlens®, took centre stage at the Dublin Institute of Technology to provide advice to students on how to take a small business international.

Chartering the growth of Adlens from an extraordinary philanthropic initiative into a global enterprise that is leading the development and sale of adjustable focus eyewear, Ferrara spoke in depth to both graduate and postgraduate students about how understanding the needs of customers is pivotal to the successful growth of a business.

Mike Ferrara at AdlensHe also stressed the importance of innovation and culture, with a need for a constant evolution of unique technology that pushes boundaries to be driven by a passionate, visionary and honest team that places customer focus at the heart of their work ethic.

Ferrara also shared some more personal anecdotes to the audience, admitting that as functional as technology may be, it must also look good in order to be truly successful, and that moving academic technology to a consumer market was a challenge that still raises many difficult questions.

Ferrara was invited to speak as part of a business programme, co-ordinated by Susan L. Holak and long-time friend Dr. Alan Zimmermann, both of the College of Staten Island. At the end of the talk attendees were gifted a pair of Adlens AdjustablesTM, Adlens’ signature instant eyewear product.

Ferrara said: “It is always a pleasure, and an honour, to speak with the next generation of entrepreneurs. Leadership is everything in business and taking a small business international requires a lot of patience and energy; meeting a large number of people with these qualities, along with such high ambition was inspiring.”

Founded in 2005, Adlens is the global leader in adjustable focus eyewear, revolutionary technology that mimics the eye’s natural behaviour. Since Ferrara assumed leadership in 2011 the company has undergone a phase of intense product development and commercialisation as well as rapid worldwide expansion. Ferrara is driving the business to create safe and appealing eyewear that people love to use in both the developing and developed worlds. He talked about the evolution of the variable focus lens, from its first invention in the 18 hundreds, using glass and water, all the way through to the latest in cutting edge technology launching this year, Variable Power Optics.

Through the application of Social IPTM Ferrara has led the company in the successful globalisation of a brand new eyewear category, in a market that had previously remained static for over 50 years, since the invention of the progressive lens.

FMO Chief executive resigns

May 2015

The Federation of Manufacturing Opticians (FMO) has announced that Chief Executive Kevin Gutsell is to step down from the organisation for personal reasons.

Kevin Gutsell resignsBarry Dibble, FMO Chairman, said: “It is with sadness that I have accepted Kevin’s resignation after eight months in the role. His reasons for doing so are entirely honourable and I respect this. Kevin has had a long and distinguished career in the optical industry and The FMO Board of Directors and I wish him well for the future.”

The FMO, based in Paddington, London, is the world’s longest established optical supplier organisation, founded in 1917. It represents the interests of frame, lens, technology, IT and glazing companies, providing a platform for co-operation and networking. Optrafair, the longest established, and most visited optical trade show in the UK, belongs to The FMO.

Fmo and Abdo Collaborate In New Manufacturing Education

May 2015

The FMO and ABDO are working in partnership to ensure that all new dispensing opticians are aware of established and new manufacturing processes, together with gaining hands-on experience.

“For the next generation of opticians to promote the very best in eye care they need to have a broad understanding of new developments. Our aim is to ensure that where possible students see glazing, surfacing and coating taking place in a lab environment. When this is not possible, due to geographical constraints, we are looking to fill the gaps with up-to-date AV education,” said panel Chairman, Andy Sanders, who is also Hoya Professional Services Manager.

All FMO lens companies, labs and when relevant, frame manufacturers, are being urged to submit* details of their latest lens, coating and frame launches. This will ensure the ABDO/FMO panel is providing the latest information to the next generation of emerging dispensing opticians. Where lab facilities may not offer all the production methods required, AV material will be available – especially regarding coatings, conventional surfacing, glazing specialist eyewear as well as frame manufacturing.

ABDO Director of Professional Exams, Alicia Thompson, explained –

“This exciting new initiative will see trainees visiting and reporting on manufacturing processes as part of their portfolio of experience. This supports the competency in demonstrating knowledge in frame and lens manufacturing, as well as the application of lens treatments. Thanks to our collaboration with FMO members, we can ensure this experience is always up to date with the latest technological advances in product design and production methods.

“We are very grateful for the enhanced support from FMO members with teaching and examination equipment and the latest technical information.”

Led by Andy, the education group includes relevant expertise and representation from across the optical field – Debbie Gigg, from SMC Training; Elaine Grisdale, from ABDO Professional Services; Alicia Thompson as ABDO Director of Professional Examinations; Andy Hepworth from Essilor; Julian Wiles from Younger Optical; Mark Marland from Optimum Coatings; and Kevin Gutsell, Chief Executive of The FMO.

Adlens® champions social innovation through the Leading for Impact programme

May 2015

Adlens® announces its participation in Leading for Impact, a programme offered by The Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and The DO School exclusively for University of Oxford Students. The two-phase programme will help exceptional students who are committed to social impact to both BE more effective leaders and DO significant entrepreneurial work.

Through this programme, Adlens challenges the Leading for Impact students to prototype a business model to bring adjustable eyewear to a section of the Indian market who currently do not have access to adequate eye care, while creating sustainable livelihood throughout the value chain. The students will learn about two existing technologies that are ready for this market: adjustable eyewear lenses and smart phone diagnosis methods. Combining these technologies makes it possible to provide low cost effective eyecare to 90% of all people who have sight problems.

Adlens’ mission is to transform the way people see, to improve the way people live. Providing vision correction to everyone who needs it is crucial to empowering all parts of society in emerging economies to take part in increasing educational and economic opportunities. Over 2.2 billion people in the world do not have adequate access to eye care and almost 90% of those who need it only require straightforward vision correction through glasses. Dr. Graeme MacKenzie, Director, Regulatory & Industry Affairs at Adlens explains, “There is such a huge need to deliver vision correction in many parts of the world. India is one of the countries with the most limited access to eyecare, and we are looking forward to working with the Leading for Impact students to develop a sustainable model to improve this situation.”

The programme is due to conclude in July 2015, with results and future initiatives to be announced thereafter.

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