Government support

Fraunhofer secures funds for laser development

Simon Andrews: accelerating innovation (pic: Terry Murden)

A Scottish centre for laser technology has received £6.5m to help bring its research to market.

The Glasgow-based Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics (CAP) works in areas such as security and defence, quantum technology, healthcare, and renewable energy.

The new funding is from the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise and will enable the purchase of equipment and doctorate level student training. The latter is a crucial part of the Fraunhofer model and both are essential components in delivering next generation products and processes.

Fraunhofer is the name given to a network of specialist research centres across Europe, all working on behalf of industry and named after the German physicist, Joseph von Fraunhofer.

Housed in the University of Strathclyde’s Technology and Innovation Centre, Fraunhofer’s Centre for Applied Photonics is the first of its kind in the UK. Since its inception it has become a significant player delivering more than 180 projects with 100 companies, typically producing pre-production prototypes and validating novel technology.

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The Centre is now a cornerstone of the UK’s quantum technology programme, collaborating widely and working with Scottish companies to win 30% of available funding. 

A recent independent assessment found the economic impact of Fraunhofer in Scotland to be substantial,  supporting hundreds of jobs and boosting company turnover in the hundreds of millions.

Business Minister Ivan McKee said: “The funding will support the third phase of the centre’s world-class research and innovation activities and is another step towards the Scottish Government’s target of growing business enterprise R&D in Scotland to £1.8 billion by 2025.

“In the longer term we want to boost Scotland’s innovation performance to match the levels of the best performing countries worldwide.”

Ivan McKee: world class research (pic: Terry Murden)

Linda Hanna, outgoing managing director at Scottish Enterprise, explained: “Nine years ago, Fraunhofer chose Scotland as the location for its first UK research centre, and since then it’s become an established and respected asset that helps Scottish businesses harness innovation for their development and growth.”

Scottish Enterprise is pleased to continue support for Fraunhofer, with £7.6m of Scottish Enterprise funding provided since it opened in Scotland in 2012. This latest funding will help to unlock even more opportunities for companies to develop new products and processes for global markets, and we look forward to working with Simon and his team to achieve this.”

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