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Our History

Black and White Anniversary Group Photo

Building the Foundation

Ocean Optics started in the late ‘80s, seeded by a federal grant for a marine pH sensor. As part of their work, the Ocean team needed a compact spectrometer to fit into a small, underwater housing, and were surprised to discover none existed. So, they made their own.

By 1992, the “world’s first miniature spectrometer” ushered in a new way of utilizing spectroscopy. Today, as Ocean Insight, our technologies have evolved, our offering has expanded, and our customers remain vital partners. 


1989: Ocean Optics, Inc. founded by university researchers in Florida, USA

1992: Commercial release of “world’s first miniature spectrometer”

1999: Precision optics division established

2000: Opened first office in Europe

2004: Acquired by Halma plc, a global group of life-saving technology companies

2006: Acquired Mikropack GmbH, a developer and supplier of spectroscopy accessories

2006: Opened first office in People’s Republic of China

2016: Consolidated the multispectral imaging products of PIXELTEQ into the Ocean portfolio

2016: Established sales and support presence in India

2018: Launched Lab Services, offering basic feasibility studies, experimental design, machine learning and consultancy

2019: Consolidated the color and imaging offerings of FluxData, Inc. into the Ocean portfolio

2019: Rebranded Ocean Optics as Ocean Insight, the applied spectral knowledge company

2020: Developed the Ocean 150 Strategic Plan

2020: Launched the inaugural worldwide Ocean Insight Grant Program 

2021: Opened new 52,000-square-foot facility in high-tech corridor of Orlando, Florida

2021: Established sales support in Southeast Asia

2022: Acquired International Light Technologies, Inc., a technical lighting and light measurement company

2023: In Memoriam: Roy Walters, Ph.D. - one of the founders of Ocean Optics and a key contributor to the development of the company’s pioneering compact spectrometers died on March 30, 2023. 

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Ocean Insight's accolades include being named to the Orlando Business Journal’s 2022 Best Places to Work, which recognizes Central Florida's leading employers.

Our leadership team brings a wealth of experience, viewpoints and ideas that help Ocean Insight to thrive, foster innovation, and inspire the organization.

Ocean Insight's Ocean Applied business unit, based in Rochester, N.Y., was named one of the Best Companies to Work for in New York 2023.

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