Neckers founded Spectra Group in 1991. The corporation was originally chartered to create 3D models from medical image data, as in CT or MRI scans, for surgical planning. Neckers’ laboratories at the Center for Photochemical Sciences were the first in the world to manage this technology.
Among early examples was the use of stereolithography (Hull,C. U. S. Patent, 4,575,330, March, 1986 )
In 1999 Spectra Group used stereolithography to produce 3D models from CT scans of mummies collected in 1906 by founders of the Toledo Museum of Art.
In its over 20 years of existence Spectra Group went on to become one of the most successful startups to have come from technology transfer from an Ohio university over the last 2 decades. Its scientists all have direct affiliations with the Center for Photochemical Sciences at Bowling Green, and are among its most outstanding alumni. Spectra Group’s history shows how university technology transfer can and must be done.
Neckers consulted for Spectra Group before retiring from the University to become the company’s CEO in 2009.
MILESTONES in Spectra Group history:
- 1996 – awarded Phase I US Navy SBIR to work on visible light curable corrosion resistant repair coatings for submarine ballast tanks
- 1997 - awarded Phase II US Navy SBIR to work on visible light curable corrosion resistant repair coatings for submarine ballast tanks with subsequent option picked up
- 1998 – Pioneering Technology Award at RadTech North America Exhibition and Show for its visible light cure corrosion resistant coatings work
- 2003 – selected as a co-contractor on the winning Third Frontier Ohio Department of Development proposal to create materials for photocastable spectacle lenses
- 2007 – awarded two Phase I SBIRs from US AirForce to work on development of fast curable and high-temperature resistance liquid shim and bonding primer
- 2008 – awarded a grant to develop, manufacture and market various photopolymer materials by Ohio Research and Commercialization Grant Program; after 2 year performance, by the end of 2010, created a number of jobs at the company and went on to produce 500% more in photopolymer sales based than expended state funds
- 2011 – awarded Phase I Office of Surgeon General of the US Army SBIR to develop fluid non-biological blood simulant for medical personnel training purposes
- 2012 – awarded Phase II Office of Surgeon General of the US Army SBIR to develop fluid non-biological blood simulant for medical personnel training purposes.