Two new buildings will enhance the company’s capabilities for producing medical device headsets, as well as wiring and harnessing for the aerospace and defense industries.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.—Spectrum Advanced Manufacturing Technologies (Spectrum AMT) is embarking on a significant expansion of its operations in Colorado Springs—thanks, in part, to the support and encouragement from the Colorado Economic Development Commission and state and local governments, the company said in a release.

The expansion, intended to fuel innovations in the aerospace, military, and medical fields, includes the addition of two new buildings and the potential to create more than 100 local jobs. It aims to enhance Spectrum’s partnerships with NASA and DoD prime contractors, as well as  its parent company, Ocutrx Technologies, Inc., as Spectrum AMT works toturn groundbreaking ideas into failure-proof products,” according to the release.

With the addition of the two new buildings, the Spectrum AMT site will be known as the Ocutrx-Spectrum Advanced Manufacturing Campus. Spectrum AMT is owned by Ocutrx Technologies, Inc., developer of the innovative AR/XR medical device headsets OcuLenz™, for patients, and the ORLenz, for surgeons. Ocutrx was founded by brothers Michael H. and Mitchael C. Freeman, two Emmy Award-winning inventors.

Ocutrx and Spectrum AMT received unanimous approval in February, from the Colorado Economic Development Commission (EDC), for Job Growth Incentive Tax Credits. The approval is reported to allocate $1,281,974 over eight years for the creation of up to 101 net new jobs, according to the release.

“Colorado is a leader in advanced manufacturing, and Spectrum AMT will create over 100 new good-paying jobs in this important industry,” said Colorado Governor Jared Polis, in a statement. “We are thrilled to see Spectrum AMT expand in Colorado Springs, and this new investment will help Colorado remain the best place to live, work, and do business.”

The Job Growth Incentive is related to the purchase of a new manufacturing complex, which will be modified to a 12,500-square-foot site called the Brigadier General Richard C. and Gwendolyn Freeman Commercial Manufacturing Center (Freeman Center). The Freeman Center will house new ISO 8 Class 100,000 Optical Cleanrooms for the production of the OcuLenz and ORLenz AR/XR headsets and the StereoLenz™ “glasses-free” 3D monitors. It is expected to create more than100 new local jobs, according to Spectrum AMT.

Brigadier General Richard C. Freeman and Gwen were the parents of Ocutrx’s founders. Brigadier General Freeman was a highly decorated USAF jet fighter pilot and entrepreneur who was afflicted with advanced macular degeneration (AMD), which led to the foundation of Ocutrx and the OcuLenz for AMD medical devices, which correct for the condition.

“This expansion signifies a strategic response to the growing demand for Spectrum AMT’s expertise in high-reliability electronics manufacturing and assembly,” said Spectrum Chief Operating Officer Jeff Gilbert, in the release. “We are deeply appreciative of our partnership with 5Star Bank and remain firmly committed to not only supporting critical industries like aerospace and defense but also contributing meaningfully to the advancement of technologies that shape the future, from space exploration and scientific discovery to addressing global medical challenges.”

In addition to the newly purchased facility, the expansion will enlarge the facility’s capacity by adding a 3,000-square-foot segregated cleanroom facility—called the Deep Space Center—reserved for wiring and harnessing. The company said in the release that wiring and harnessing for deep space often present special challenges that require ultra-care and cleanrooms to reduce the possibility of contamination that can grow on metal wires in space.

“Even a small flake of a contaminant can cause a huge problem over time in a critical space wiring assembly,” the company said in the release. “Likewise, odors and the potential for accidental magnetic field forming and other concerns must be eliminated.” Spectrum AMT said it will consolidate all of its wiring and harnessing into the new Deep Space clean facility.

Spectrum AMT’s growth is said to reinforce its contributions to the aerospace, military, medical, enterprise, and industrial sectors. The company has produced assemblies for the Goddard Space Flight Center for the Spitzer, Hubbell, James Webb, and Roman Space telescopes. Spectrum AMT’s electronic assemblies have been on NASA’s DART Double Asteroid Redirection Test, the Parker Solar Probe, NASA’s mission to touch the sun, and the Psyche Mission—NASA’s first mission to use laser communications instead of radio frequencies. Spectrum provided the switching electronics for the Psyche Mission, which launched in October 2023, the company said.

The expansion will not only enhance Spectrum AMT’s aerospace and spaceflight manufacturing capabilities but also dedicate additional space and new optics labs for the production of the OcuLenz headset. Developed by Spectrum AMT’s parent company, Ocutrx Technologies, OcuLenz is described as an innovative assistive technology that is designed to aid vision for patients with advanced macular degeneration. It is said to provide a “transformative solution for the millions of Americans affected by this condition.” Its sister headset, the ORLenz, provides 3D digital imaging for surgeons, the company said.

Recognized for its impact and innovation, OcuLenz was named a runner-up in the 2023 Coolest Things Made in Colorado contest and was named to Fast Company’s List of the Next Big Things in Tech. The manufacturing of the headset in Colorado Springs is said to represent “a significant advancement in medical and assistive technology manufacturing” while further cementing the state’s reputation as a center for advanced manufacturing and technology development.

“We are proud to be part of a Colorado ecosystem that fosters innovation and economic growth, and we are excited to continue playing a vital role in Colorado Springs,” Gilbert added. “This community has been instrumental in our beginning and continued success.”