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Alter Technology to set up new Photonics Design Centre in Scotland

24 Jun 2021

Group to invest €6M to fund equipment, personnel and R&D to push photonic technologies into quantum and space markets.

Alter Technology TÜV Nord, a large developer and supplier of micro- and optoelectronics solutions for the European Space market, and part of German Multi-National TÜV Nord, has announced that it is establishing a Photonics Design Centre in Scotland, UK.

The new Design Centre will be strategically located in the Central Belt of Scotland to tap into the quantum and space funding landscape within the UK and to be close to the Scottish photonics, quantum and space eco-system and talent pool.

It will focus on supporting Alter’s development of integrated, miniaturised photonic products for the quantum enabled positioning, navigation and timing systems and photonics-based satellite optical communications. The Design Centre will also complement the global manufacturing, test, qualification, and sales operations of Alter Technology Group.

€6M investment over 3-5 years

The Group is planning to allocate around €6M to in the Design Centre and its UK manufacturing site in the next 3-5 years to fund equipment, facilities, personnel and other R&D costs. The existing Livingston, UK based manufacturing site will also benefit from additional investment in associated state-of-the-art robotic based manufacturing equipment and processes for photonic products.

Stephen Duffy, CEO of Alter Technology TÜV Nord UK said “Today’s investment builds upon the significant progress already made within Alter UK on laser products for quantum applications and optical transceivers for intra-satellite communications and will provide the resources and expertise to fully exploit these emerging and growing markets.

“Funding from the UK National Quantum Program and UKSA and the close co-operation with UK universities and research and technology organizations has been a key factor in the decision to locate this centre in the UK. I look forward to the continued successful partnerships with our stakeholders as we advance our exciting product roadmap in the years ahead.”

Luis Gomez, Alter Group CEO and Chairman of TÜV Nord Aerospace, said, “The announcement today marks ourfurther expansion in the UK following our acquisition of photonic and microelectronic manufacturing services company Optocap in 2016. Since that time we have significantly grown our core manufacturing services offering and made significant progress in our photonic product portfolio.

“The opportunities for photonics to enable new quantum and space applications are huge but require significant advancements in both design and advanced manufacturing technologies. We are confident that this investment will position the group well in these future areas and trends.”

Dirk Stenkamp, Chairman of the Board of Management of TÜV Nord, added, “We are already a leader in the area of post-quantum cryptography and is driving the certification and standard activities for many of the new and emerging quantum applications. As part of our 2025 strategy we see Photonics, Quantum, Space and Secure Comms as key enabling technologies to address many of the global mega-trends.”

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