Newtownabbey, UK A company developing optical technology has been established in the Technology and Innovation Centre at the University of Ulster in Jordanstown with the support of Invest Northern Ireland.
Smart Light Devices Ireland (SLDi), has been set up by Khalid Thabeth and James Kerlin, former employees of Nortel Networks, and employs 24 people, mostly research and development engineers
The Invest NI funding, part of which has been offered as equity, is part of total project funding of £2.2 million with other investment and assistance from UUTech, W & R Barnett and the University Challenge Fund.
SLDi is initially developing three products for use in oil and gas exploration, a market worth an estimated $1.6 billion per year. The products are due to be ready for market launch early next year.
The first two products are optical sensors for on line, real time monitoring of oil in water and subsea leak detection. This will provide material assistance for oil and gas exploration companies to detect oil leaks and ensure they are meeting environmental regulations.
The third product is optical fibre communications equipment, which is expected to resolve some of the communications problems currently experienced in offshore oil and gas exploration.
Invest NI's Trade Development team has helped the company to set up an office in Houston, the centre of the global oil and gas industry, and to recruit a business development consultant with experience and contacts in the oil industry.