The University of the West of Scotland (UWS) aims to build on the country’s reputation as a magnet for indirect investment, with a new company that aims to revolutionize the lucrative thin film and film industry. sensors.
Globally, the sector is valued at around £2.5 billion and is the goal of the third UWS spin-off company to date.
Based at the university’s Thin Films, Sensors and Imaging Institute (ITFSI) and formed around a team of six academics with industry experience, AlbaSense aims to develop thin film optical coatings thin and low-cost, high-performance photonic sensors. It will license core intellectual property, including three patents, globally.
Thin films are essential components in applications such as photonic gas sensors, breath analyzers, non-contact thermometers and advanced imaging systems.
AlbaSense founder Professor Des Gibson (pictured) said: ‘We aim to provide imaging and sensor solutions in a range of areas where high-volume, low-cost miniaturized measurements are needed, such as medical diagnostics, agritech, environmental monitoring and industry monitoring. process.
“I am delighted that AlbaSense will design, develop and manufacture within the UWS Institute for Thin Films, Sensors and Imaging, allowing the company to retain the wide range of skills and expertise offered at the university, while providing strong industrial links and economic opportunities. benefits for UWS, contributing directly to Scotland’s thriving innovation economy.
In addition to Gibson, the AlbaSense team includes Dr. David Hutson, research and development expert for thin-film devices; Dr Shigeng Song, expert in thin film physics and applications; Dr. Lewis Fleming, gas sensor specialist; Dr. Parag Vichare, expert in manufacturing research; and Dr. Ewan Waddell, expert in optical and physical modeling.
AlbaSense will benefit from two rounds of funding from Scottish Enterprise’s High Growth Spin-Out Program, which provided the spin-out with two rounds of funding over a three-year period with an aggregate value of £528,000.
In addition, two CENSIS – Scottish Innovation Center for Sensing, Imaging and Internet of Things – projects, three Innovate UK projects and an EU-funded Horizon 2020 project, worth a total of €3 million of pounds, have been secured to develop end-use applications of AlbaSense patented technology.
A recent joint report published this year by the British Business Bank, Innovation UK and UKRI (UK Research and Innovation) highlighted the key role of Scottish universities in spin-off investments. He pointed out that 44 of the 211 spin-outs involved Scottish higher education institutions.
Photo: Elaine Livingstone