A leading innovation centre specialising in laser technology has secured a £5m funding grant to further its cutting edge work.
The Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics (FhCAP), based at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, works in partnership with businesses to solve industrial challenges and drive innovation in renewable energy, security, defence and health care.
The new funding, which comes from the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise, will allow it to take on 10 more scientists and 10 students.
The non-profit centre specialises in photonics - laser technology - and is said to be at the core of the £740million-a-year sector in Scotland.
Scottish companies benefit from working with Fraunhofer to develop new products for international markets, helping to drive up Scottish exports. Fraunhofer also helps attract inward investment into Scotland due to its globally recognised reputation for innovation excellence.
Innovation minister Paul Wheelhouse visited the lab at Strathclyde University’s technology and innovation centre to announce the funding.
He said: “Photonics is a key enabling technology and Scotland punches above its weight with a thriving, globally-competitive sector, with the Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics at its heart.
“Their range of expertise and services is unique in the UK and Glasgow was chosen by the internationally respected Fraunhofer Institute as their European location to build on the considerable Scottish strengths in advanced photonics.
“This investment will allow Fh-CAP and Scotland’s thriving photonics industry, to continue to grow, and is evidence of the Scottish Government’s strong commitment to supporting our science and research communities and to continuing to establish and nurture research linkages within Europe.”
As well as supporting the world-leading innovation of the lab, the funding package will allow the organisation to add a further 10 scientists and 10 students to the workforce.
Simon Andrews, executive director of Fraunhofer UK Research said: “This most welcome and continued investment confirms that our work has proven hugely successful.
“We have, too, a repeat and growing customer base. The European Space Agency is, for instance, awarding us leading roles in their cutting edge quantum technologies projects.
“The backing of the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise is a crucial part of the model and allows our not-for-profit organisation to focus on its role - innovation for industry.”