Alter Technology TUV Nord has opened a centre for photonics design at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow in order to accelerate the commercialisation of photonic products into the quantum-technology and space markets.
The centre, which is based in the university’s Technology & Innovation Centre (TIC) in Glasgow’s City Innovation District, will support Alter Technology Group’s development of highly integrated, miniaturised and robust photonic products to be used in quantum-enabled positioning, navigation and timing systems, and photonic-based satellite optical communications.
Over the next three to five years, the group will allocate around €6million to the design centre and its UK manufacturing site in Livingston, West Lothian, to fund equipment, facilities, personnel and other research and development costs. The manufacturing site will also benefit from additional investment in associated state-of-the-art robotics-based manufacturing equipment and processes for photonic products.
The centre’s engineering team, which is already working on projects and customer requests, expects to move into the new Glasgow facility in May. The Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics and Strathclyde’s Institute of Photonics – both of which are key partners for Alter Technology – are based within the same building.
‘I am delighted that Alter Technology has chosen to open its new Photonics Design Centre within the TIC building in Glasgow City Innovation District,’ said Professor Sir Jim McDonald, principal and vice-chancellor of Strathclyde. ‘Strathclyde has unparalleled links with leading national and international academic centres of excellence, and it has strong links with UK industry, public sector agencies as well as research and technology organisations.
‘Our Department of Physics has an internationally leading capability in photonics and quantum optics, and was ranked first in the UK for physics research in the Times Higher Education’s analysis of the last national research assessment exercise – with 93 per cent of its submissions rated as world-leading,’ he continued.
‘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, CEO of Alter Technology TUV Nord UK. ‘The key reasons were the importance of the local photonics and quantum ecosystem, 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.’