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Alter Tech To Set Up Photonics Design Centre In UK

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Scotland-based design centre to accelerate commercialisation of photonic products into quantum technology and space

Alter Technology TÜV NORD, part of German Multi-National TÜV NORD, has announced that it is establishing a photonics design centre in Scotland, UK.

The new design centre will be strategically set-up in the central belt of Scotland to tap into the strong Quantum and Space funding landscape within the UK and to be close to the vibrant Scottish photonics, quantum and space eco-system and talent pool.

The centre will focus on supporting the group's development of highly integrated, miniaturised and robust photonic products to be used in the Quantum enabled positioning, navigation and timing systems and photonic based satellite optical communications. The design centre will complement the current global manufacturing, test, qualification, and sales operations of the Alter Technology Group.

Alter Group will allocate around €6M to in the design centre and its UK manufacturing site in the next 3-5 years to fund equipment, facilities, personnel and other R&D costs. The existing Livingston, UK based manufacturing site will also benefit from additional investment in associated state-of-the-art robotic based manufacturing equipment and processes for photonic products.

Commenting, Stephen Duffy, CEO of Alter Technology TUV NORD UK said: “Today's investment builds upon the significant progress already made within Alter UK on laser products for Quantum applications and optical transceivers for intra-satellite communications and will provide the resources and expertise to fully exploit these emerging and growing markets. Funding from the UK National Quantum Program and UKSA and the close co-operation with UK Universities and Research and Technology Organisations has been a key factor in the decision to locate this centre in the UK. I look forward to the continued successful partnerships with our stakeholders as we advance our exciting product roadmap in the years ahead”.

Luis Gomez, Alter Group CEO and Chairman of TÜV NORD Aerospace BU said: “The announcement today marks Alter Group's further expansion in the UK following our acquisition of photonic and microelectronic manufacturing services company Optocap Ltd in 2016. Since that time we have significantly grown our core manufacturing services offering and made significant progress in our photonic product portfolio. The opportunities for photonics to enable new Quantum and Space applications are huge but require significant advancements in both design and advanced manufacturing technologies. We are confident that this investment will position the group well in these future areas and trends”.

Dirk Stenkamp, chairman of the board of management TÜV NORD AG, said “TÜV NORD Group is already a leader in the area of post-Quantum Cryptography and is driving the certification and standard activities for many of the new and emerging quantum applications. As part of our 2025 Strategy we see photonics, quantum, space and secure comms as key enabling technologies to address many of the global mega-trends. We view this design centre as key step to keep TUV NORD at the forefront of crucial technological innovations for the next few decades. We are delighted to support our Aerospace Business Unit and Alter UK with this investment and look forward to growing our presence further in the UK.”

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