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Photon02 news - Tuesday

04 Sep 2002

A new optoelectronics incubator in Wales will house 24 business units for new or relocating companies.

Following a £6.3 million cash injection from the European Union, a new business center to nurture optoelectronics companies is to be built in Wales, UK.

The £14.7 million Optics Technology and Incubation Center (OpTIC) is the latest of the Welsh Development Agency's "Technium" projects. Work is about to begin at the St. Asaph site, with the center expected to open in autumn 2003.

Launched at the Photonex 2002 exhibition floor in Cardiff, OpTIC Technium will house 24 business units for new or relocating companies.

The incubator site is close to a number of existing optics-related businesses located in north Wales, including defense and aeronautic giant Thales and the Hewlett-Packard spin-off Agilent Technologies.

For startup companies, a business support unit will give financial, legal and market advice, while both startups and established companies will have access to a technology center including a cleanroom facility for device fabrication.

Thales Optics managing director Rob Thompson welcomed the announcement, saying: "It is a wonderful opportunity to create a center of excellence for training young people for the future skill requirements of the community."

When completed, OpTIC Technium will also boast the UK's biggest photovoltaic solar panel, which will entirely cover one side of the center. The cadmium telluride cells will provide a back-up power supply for heat and light generation.

OpTIC Technium can be contacted at: OpTIC@wda.co.uk.

Michael Hatcher is technology editor of Opto and Laser Europe magazine.

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