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UK photonics design centre for quantum and space

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Alter Technology has opened a €6m Photonics Design Centre at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.

The design centre aims to accelerate the commercialisation of highly-integrated photonic products into quantum technology and space markets.

The Centre is based in Strathclyde’s Technology & Innovation Centre (TIC) in Glasgow City Innovation District, will support Alter Technology Group’s development of highly-integrated, photonic devices for quantum-enabled positioning, navigation and timing systems and photonic-based satellite optical communications.

Over the next three to five years, the Spanish Group will allocate €6M to the Design Centre and its UK manufacturing site in Livingston, West Lothian, to fund equipment, facilities, personnel and other research and development costs.

Its existing manufacturing site will also benefit from additional investment in associated state-of-the-art robotic based manufacturing equipment and processes for photonic products.

The Centre’s engineering team is already working on projects and customer requests and expects to move into its new Glasgow facility in May. The Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics and Strathclyde’s Institute of Photonics – key partners for Alter Technology – are based within the same building, with the Physics Department teams nearby.

“As a key and valued partner of the University, Alter Technology’s co-location with the Fraunhofer CAP, our own Institute of Photonics and the Department of Physics – will provide many benefits for the company and be a real boost to the Scottish Photonics industry, the wider Scottish academic sector and the growing innovation ecosystem in Glasgow,” said Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal & Vice-Chancellor of Strathclyde.

“There were a number of factors that played an important role in convincing us to select the Technology and Innovation Centre as the location for our Photonic Design Centre,” said Stephen Duffy, Chief Executive Officer of Alter Technology TUV Nord UK.

“The key reasons were the importance of the local photonics and quantum eco-system, access to skills and proximity to our key partners at Fraunhofer UK and the research, innovation and leadership in quantum technology that takes place in the Physics Department at Strathclyde. I look forward to the continued successful partnerships with our stakeholders as we advance our exciting product roadmap in the years ahead,” he said.

A Quantum Technology Cluster is embedded in the Glasgow City Innovation District, with an investment of £110m in the District.

www.strathclyde.ac.uk

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