LONDON Wales' £522million opto-electronics sector will be boosted by the opening of Technium OpTIC at the St Asaph Business Park in Denbighshire, North Wales, the latest Technium to join the pan-Wales initiative, and the first of its kind in the UK.
Twelve businesses – including several start-ups as well as larger developing companies – are already based at OpTIC which incorporates the latest research and development facilities and a specialist business support team. Three more companies are due to move in within the next month. Between them they currently employ more than 50 people.
OpTIC is a £15.7 million project backed with over £6.3m of European Objective 1 funding provided through the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO), part of the Welsh Assembly Government.
Privately managed by Optropreneurs, it was initiated by the Welsh Optronics Forum (WOF) and is part of the Technium Wales network – a pan-Wales initiative supported by the Welsh Assembly Government, Welsh Development Agency, European Union funding, the private sector, and the Higher Education institutes of Wales.
OpTIC is designed to create over 318 jobs in North Wales and safeguard hundreds more throughout Wales. The Technium will also capitalise on the expertise of the Chemistry Department of the University of Wales, Bangor.
Five companies currently occupy full incubation space at OpTIC with a further seven based at dedicated workstations and pre-incubations areas that allow them to develop business ideas and technology utilising the dedicated support and expertise.
The Technium's Incubation Centre contains 24 units each of which provide advanced serviced space, including 3-phase electricity, extraction, water, clean air and broadband connectivity. This provides flexibility for new or relocating businesses from universities and industry within the UK and internationally. OpTIC is majoring on four platform technologies: opto-electronics materials, thin films, surface structuring and opto-electronic device packaging. To address these technology areas, centres of expertise have been formed and currently include Ultra Precison Surfaces (UPS), the Centre for Modern Optics (CMO), Optical Polymers and Metal Organic Chemical Vapour Deposition (MOCVD).