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A Nebraska manufacturer has acquired a Bozeman-based photonics company and will relocate the company’s production facility from Singapore to Bozeman.

Elemental Scientific, an Omaha company that specializes in spectroscopy technology — a method of identifying material using light — purchased the newly named Elemental Scientific Lasers, located on North Seventh Avenue across the street from Murdoch’s.

As part of the acquisition, Elemental Scientific Lasers will move the production facility, where it manufactures lasers for chemical analysis labs and spectroscopy applications, to its Bozeman space.

Founded in 1998, the company plans to hire five new employees and hopes to expand its offices, said senior electrical engineer Leif Summerfield. Elemental Scientific Lasers currently employs 10 people.

“Industry-wide, having more photonics jobs here is good for the photonics community,” Summerfield said. “(The acquisition) implies an investment in this industry, because they see potential in it. And it’s a good bet.”

Localizing production also means the company will benefit area suppliers, he added.

“There’s a local economic trickle down effect that’s pretty exciting in addition to having good paying jobs,” Summerfield said.

Between 2014 and 2015, the photonics and optics sector in the Gallatin Valley added nearly 60 employees, a bump of more than 13 percent, according to data from the Montana Photonics Industry Alliance.

The industry currently employs more than 500 workers in the area and Summerfield said much of that has to do with quality of life and the well-trained stream of employable graduates coming out of programs at Montana State University and Gallatin College.

“There’s something unique about the industry and the environment being in the valley that promotes a stable growth attitude,” he said. “With photonics, there’s a case to be made that it’s an established industry where we’re settling in for the long haul.”

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Kendall can be reached at 406-582-2651 or lkendall@dailychronicle.com. He is on Twitter at @lewdak

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