More than a dozen Scottish research and development institutes will receive a £5.7m funding from the Scottish Executive Proof of Concept (PoC) fund, which aims to promote small technology start-ups in Scotland.
At today's opening of Essient Photonics' headquarters in Strathclyde, Iain Gray, Minister for Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong learning will announce the latest and fourth round of the fund which to date has made 118 awards to start-up tech companies.
Out of 124 applications for support in the latest round of funding, 14 Scottish research institutes and universities will split £5.7m to commercialise their technology. Essient Photonics, an optical communications company spun-out from Glasgow University in March 2002, was one of the first recipients of the award.
"Our company benefits from ten years of leading-edge research conducted at the University of Glasgow", said Ken Jones, CEO of Essient.
"We are delighted with our progress to date, including first round funding secured in March last year, and our ability to attract a world-class team in Scotland. We will release our first product within the next 12 months, and it is already generating significant interest in the market. Our new facility enables us to expand our development capabilities, to include a state-of-the-art laboratory, which will provide a suitable showcase for our products."
A total of 118 awards have been made to date by the £33 million fund, leading to the creation of nearly 300 jobs.
"We are determined to ensure Scotland's impressive record of scientific and academic innovation is built upon to drive the nation's economy further forward on the international stage," said Gray.
"Encouraging the creation of more innovative businesses in Scotland is key to our future economic prosperity. In order to ensure our university research ideas are brought to the fore and commercialised into market opportunities, we have developed a pipeline of support, such as Proof of Concept, Smart, Spur, Spur Plus and Regional Selective Assistance, for innovative companies."