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Winners of North Wales photonics Launchpad Unveiled

The Welsh Opto-Electronics Forum, along with Welsh Government, Innovate UK and The KTN are pleased to announce the five winners of the North Wales photonics Launchpad competition. The winners represent some of the most exciting early stage companies centered on the cluster of photonics, electro-optics, and opto-electronics businesses in North Wales.

The companies will share grant funding of up to £0.5m and gain access to expertise and business support from partners who will offer coaching and mentoring from appropriate sources depending on individual needs.

The five highly innovative projects were selected in a two stage process from eighteen applicants in the first stage. The winning companies, all small or micro SMEs are:

  • ICAM Engineering Ltd (Flintshire) - a project to allow manufacturers to keep pushing the boundaries of their photonic materials technologies;
  • Zeeko Ltd (Denbighshire) – enabling significant reductions in polishing time and cost in the manufacture of precision optics;
  • Camstech Ltd (Cambridge – moving to North Wales) - improving the performance and reducing the cost of a Surface Plasmon Resonance instrument by developing a novel SPR sensor;
  • Mathcyf Cyf (Gwynedd) - creating a set of quantitative simulation tools to improve the processes used in polishing ultra-precision surfaces;
  • Compass Optics Ltd (Anglesey) - instrumentation for the measurement of large optical surfaces that will make up the next generation of extremely large optical telescopes.

The five winners will have up to 6 months to start their projects and around 12 months to complete the work they’ve set out to do. Innovate UK’s Monitoring Officers will observe the process.

All of the companies in the projects will receive 70% of their project costs as a grant and cover the balance of the project costs with their own resources.
This Launchpad also aims to support the development and strengthening of the North Wales photonics cluster in general. We will therefore be arranging workshops to support which will be open to any photonics/optics company in the cluster. The first event will be on November 23rd in the OpTIC Technology Centre, St Asaph.

Congratulations to the winning companies and we wish them every success.

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