22 January 2003 -- The Welsh Development Agency (WDA), Cardiff, Wales, UK, has announced plans for the development of a national business incubation and research facility dedicated to the growth of the opto-electronics industry.
Known as OpTIC Technium, (Optronics Technology and Incubation Centre), the 82,000 sq. ft., USD21m facility will include 24 incubator units, a state-of-the-art clean room and a technology center where researchers from industry and academia can combine talents to develop new products and processes. Additionally, conference, training and restaurant facilities will enable OpTIC to become a national venue for science and technology.
Located at the heart of an existing cluster of opto-electronics companies in St. Asaph, North Wales, with fast links to Manchester, Liverpool, and Ireland, OpTIC will be fully operational by autumn 2003.
The close proximity of OpTIC to the University of Wales at Bangor, with resources such as the Centres of Excellence for Technology and Industrial Collaboration (CETIC), the Centre for Industrial and Commercial Opto-electronics (ICON) and Institute for Bioelectronic and Molecular Microsystems (IBMM), will further enhance the climate for opto-electronics companies locating there.
"OpTIC is evidence to entrepreneurs around the world that Wales is strongly committed to the development of the opto-electronics sector," said Ian Maxwell, Opto-electronics Sector Manager for the WDA. "In an era in which many technology companies are struggling to stay afloat, Wales is setting aside money and resources to bring innovative ideas from dream to reality. We are determined for Wales, and the companies locating here, to lead the world in opto-electronics technology."
OpTIC is part of the Technium program, a Welsh program designed to generate and grow innovation-based businesses by providing assistance to multinationals, SME's and budding entrepreneurs.
As part of the Technium project, OpTIC will offer access to cost-effective, cutting-edge technology and expertise, customised training programs, incubation support, broadband fibre-optic links to commercial and university networks, a steady supply of highly-qualified graduates, advice in marketing and intellectual property rights and access to venture capital sources, as well as technical development support from the WDA and other governmental organizations.
In other countries such services are often only available in a confusing array of locations and programs. With OpTIC, all of these resources will be accessible in one program, under one roof.
The project is a partnership of the Welsh Opto-electronics Forum, European Union funding, the WDA and the private sector. Applications are now being accepted for companies interested in participating and construction is already underway.