Ninety-six percent of the world’s consumers reside outside the United States, a fact not lost on Joe Janson, founder and CEO of Night Vision Technology Solutions in Jamestown.
NVTS designs and builds electro-optical infrared camera systems for military, autonomous and manned-surface vessels and vehicles, search and rescue, and situational awareness.
The company also designs cameras to support the offshore wind industry, including a new marine mammal surveillance system inspired by the call to protect the North American right whale during offshore construction. In response to COVID-19, NVTS is launching a cost-efficient, second-generation “Fever Spotter” camera, drawing on company expertise in thermal sensor technology.
While successful in the U.S., NVTS has found success in numerous foreign markets. Exporting night-vision cameras, coupled with the growing demand for machine learning, has created new business opportunities, enabling NVTS to hire additional engineers to expand the product line.
Janson estimates that exports vary year to year from 25% to 60% of overall business, having shipped product to the United Kingdom, Greece, Turkey, Finland, Vietnam, Portugal and Saudi Arabia. NVTS continues to work toward growing overseas markets, regularly submitting proposals internationally.
On Tuesday, it was announced by the Small Business Administration Janson’s company was named the 2020 Rhode Island and New England Exporter of the Year.
“Exporting and hunting is the same,” said Janson, who also lives in Jamestown. “You don’t wait for the food to come to you season after season. You need to get out there and find it. It’s challenging, but essential in our business.”
Linda Woulfe, assistant director of the John H. Chafee for International Business at Bryant University, nominated Janson for the award.
“Anyone who has worked with Joe Janson and his wife Julie know what a joy they are to work with! They never fail to acknowledge the people, programs and organizations that work with them and they want to share information with anyone else who could benefit,” Woulfe said. “Now, during the pandemic, they have used their knowledge and expertise to develop two body temperature cameras to help detect people with elevated temperatures from a distance.”
“Always eager to learn, ready to embrace a new opportunity and not afraid to ask questions, Joe and Julie are truly deserving of this award as the Rhode Island and New England Small Business Exporter of the Year,” Woulfe said.