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Durham Tech Company Growing

Aperture Optical Sciences will receive $700,000 to expand high tech manufacturing base.

Aperture Optical Sciences Inc. of Durham, a high tech startup that develops and manufactures optics for customers that include the U.S. Military and NASA, will receive $700,000 in low cost loans through the state.

"In order to continue the work that we started we need to buy equipment,"said Aperture President Flemming Tinker of his company's plans to expand.

"We reached out to the Department of Economic and Community Development and Connecticut Development Authority, both of whom visited us and scrutinized our business plan, our company and our ideas and ultimately decided we were good candidates."

Tinker, who spent 16 years with Zygo Corporation located in Middlefield, founded Flemming Tinker Inc., an independent engineering and consulting firm in 2005, before starting Aperture and moving to Durham in 2009.

Aperture, which operates in a 5,000 square foot space in the Kelly Industrial Park on Parson Road (or Parson Lane), currently has 10 employees (seven are full-time) and plans to add nine employees in the next three years.

"It will be a mixture of manufacturing technicians, engineers and some administrative support," Flemming said, adding that the company also plans to continue adding manufacturing equipment.

Tinker said the company has found a niche by using silicon carbide, a material he said is both difficult and expensive to work with, to create high tech components for imaging systems used in various fields, including telescopes for scientific exploration and unmanned vehicles used by the military.

"In order for those systems to fly and operate correctly, they have to have advanced vision systems," and Aperture provides that vision Tinker said.

There are only a dozen or so companies in the U.S. capable of producing a similar product according to Tinker, and many are "much larger" companies.

"We specialize in prototyping. [Aperture is] attempting to make these components either to a much higher level of specification which is typical in manufacturing, or something that is being made out of a new material."

Aperture was recently featured on FOX Business Network and CNN Headline News, in a segment produced by Today In America and hosted by former NFL quarterback Terry Bradshaw.

"I am very pleased that any manufacturing business in the state of Connecticut is expanding and even more so that it is in Durham," said First Selectwoman Laura Francis.

"Aperture is the type of business that fits very well in our town and we are delighted that they chose to locate in Durham. I wish them much success."

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