Grant supports new jobs

Robotics firm Sense Photonics expands R&D facility

Ivan McKee

Ivan McKee: Scotland punching above its weight (pic: Terry Murden)


An American technology company building the next generation of sensor solutions for driverless cars and robots is expanding its R&D operations in Scotland following a £1.9m grant from Scottish Enterprise.

Sense Photonics, headquartered in Durham, North Carolina, currently has a small research base in Edinburgh, and a working relationship with the University of Edinburgh’s Institute of Integrated Micro and Nano Systems. The new grant will help create 38 high-value jobs.

Scottish Government Innovation Minister, Ivan McKee, said: “Sense Photonics decision to locate their new base in Edinburgh reflects Scotland’s long and distinguished history in the field of photonics, punching above its weight in a globally competitive market for over a century.

“This new base will add to Scotland’s existing billion-pound photonics sector, which supports 4,000 highly skilled jobs at a value added per employee that is three times the national average.”

Sense Photonics will create a globally competitive research centre in Edinburgh, which will include laboratory and office space. The centralised R&D centre will bring all elements of sensor research and development within a single location, taking advantage of the deep pool of talent in the region.

Scott Burroughs, CEO, Sense Photonics, said: “Working closely with the University of Edinburgh for the past year, we have already built one of the best advanced sensor development teams in the world, and we look forward to expanding rapidly with this new support.”

Mark Hallan, director, Scottish Enterprise, said: “Sense Photonics is an innovative company producing highly sophisticated technology.”

New measurement centre

A new centre for advanced measurement research and health translation is to open in Glasgow to support innovation in the medicine, food and drink, and high-value manufacturing sectors.

The centre is part of an ambitious, long-term collaboration between the University of Strathclyde and LGC, the UK’s institute for chemical and bio-measurement, focused on Scotland’s health and life sciences innovation ecosystem. 

It will provide a base for joint research projects and innovation in measurement, supporting industry to improve reliability, safety, productivity and ultimately, economic growth in a wide range of areas, from clinical diagnostics to innovative new food products. Further, it will provide Scotland with a more productive future workforce through the education and training of scientists and engineers.

Dr Julian Braybrook, director of measurement science at the National Measurement Laboratory at LGC, and the UK’s Government Chemist, said: “LGC and the University of Strathclyde already deliver independent leading research environments and solutions for applied markets. 

“Working together, this partnership can bring truly disruptive technology opportunities for priority areas of health and wellbeing for Scotland.”

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