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Alter Technology opens photonics design center in Glasgow

07 Apr 2022

Located within Strathclyde’s TIC, its aim is to drive photonic products into quantum and space markets.

Alter Technology TUV Nord, a provider of engineering and testing of components and equipment for space and other tech markets, has opened a Photonics Design Center in Glasgow, UK, at the University of Strathclyde. The aim of the center is to accelerate the commercialisation of photonic products into quantum technology and space markets.

The center, based in Strathclyde’s Technology & Innovation Centre (TIC) in Glasgow, will support Alter’s development of integrated, miniaturized photonic products for quantum-enabled positioning, navigation and timing systems and photonic-based satellite optical communications.

The partners will allocate around €6.0 million ($6.6 M) to the design center and its UK manufacturing site in Livingston, West Lothian, over the next three to five years to fund equipment, facilities, personnel and other research and development costs. Its existing manufacturing site will also benefit from additional investment in associated state-of-the-art robotic based manufacturing equipment and processes for photonic products.

Projects have started

The center’s engineering team is already working on projects and customer requests and expects to move into its new Glasgow facility in May, 2022. The Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics and Strathclyde’s Institute of Photonics are based within the same building, with the Physics Department, nearby.

The opening of the center, which complements the current global manufacturing, test, qualification, and sales operations of the group, was recently announced during a visit to Glasgow by a delegation of 60 industrial leaders from Lower Saxony in Germany, which included TUV Nord’s Chief Executive Dirk Stenkamp.

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal & Vice-Chancellor of Strathclyde, commented, “I am delighted that Alter Technology has chosen to open its new photonics design center within the TIC building in Glasgow City Innovation District.

“Strathclyde is well-connected to leading national and international academic centers of excellence, and it has strong links with UK industry, public sector organisations and research and technology organisations.

“As a valued partner of the University, Alter Technology’s co-location with the Fraunhofer CAP, our Institute of Photonics, and Department of Physics will provide many benefits for the company and be a real boost to the Scottish photonics industry, the wider Scottish academic sector and the growing innovation ecosystem in Glasgow.”

Stephen Duffy, CEO of Alter Technology TUV Nord UK, said, “There were a number of factors that played an important role in convincing us to select the Technology and Innovation Centre as the location for our Photonic Design Center.

“The key reasons were the importance of the local photonics and quantum eco-system, access to skills and proximity to our key partners at Fraunhofer UK and the research, innovation and leadership in quantum technology that takes place in the Physics Department.”

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