Scottish Enterprise signs deal with LED developer

SCOTTISH Enterprise has signed a licensing deal with a Livingston-based technology firm to develop the next generation of components for flatscreen TVs and computer monitors.

News of the deal comes as SE also announces that 1.5 million of funding will be shared between four university projects that could be spun out into new companies under its Proof of Concept programme.

Design LED Products expects its licence from SE to help the company grow its turnover to 20m over the next five years and to help it grab a slice of an 80 billion market.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The new technology was commissioned as part of the Intermediary Technology Institutes (ITIs), three public bodies set up to identify gaps in the market and create products or services to fill those gaps.

But the ITIs were seen by some as an "expensive gamble" and were rolled back into Scottish Enterprise's main activities last year.

The new licence covers light-emitting diodes (LEDs), which are tiny electronic devices that give out light but are cheaper and more energy-efficient than traditional light bulbs.

LEDs are used in a wide range of equipment, including flatpanel TVs and laptop computers, and are increasingly being used in car headlamps and other lights.

The new technology makes LEDs even more energy-efficient, cutting down the cost of devices that use them as components.

Stuart Bain, chief executive of Design LED Products, said: "We are absolutely delighted with the outcome of this programme. This allows us to move forward at real pace and to take a significant share of a high-growth market."

The global market for LED lights alone is expected to be more than 95bn (81bn) by 2014, with 216 million LED TVs also forecast to ship in that same year.

Dr Eleanor Mitchell, SE's director of commercialisation, said: "By signing licensing deals with private sector companies, we're ensuring that the technology developed in Scotland benefits the Scottish economy."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

SE declined to reveal the value of the licensing deal on commercial grounds.At the other end of the scale in SE's commercialisation department, a total of 1.5m of funding has been given under its Proof of Concept scheme.

Glasgow University will use its share of the cash to develop bedside tuberculosis tests.

Researchers at Edinburgh University will look at new ways to replace and repair damaged bones.

In the food and drink sector, Strathclyde University aims to design packaging that will release pigments to indicate when foods such as red meats and seafood have gone off.

St Andrews University will use its grant to develop anti-bacterial coatings for packaging, textiles, paints, flooring and healthcare applications.

Since it was launched in 1999, the Proof of Concept scheme has pumped 41m into 212 projects, resulting in 60 licences being issued and 52 hi-tech companies being launched.