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Knowledge Transfer Network NanoKTN secures funding for University of Southampton spin off

NanoKTN secures funding and partnership opportunities for University of Southampton spin-off

The Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network (NanoKTN), one of the UK’s primary knowledge-based networks for Micro and Nanotechnologies, has helped an SME in the UK secure funding and partnerships, enabling company growth to exceed 85% between 2009 and 2010. Working with the NanoKTN, Covesion has formed strategic partnerships that have resulted in significant commercial impact on the business.

With highly distinctive IP spawned from the University of Southampton, Covesion is a leading producer of PPLN (Periodically Poled Lithium Niobate) and its magnesium oxide doped counterpart (MgO:PPLN). These are materials that can be used to change the wavelength (colour) of incident laser light. Using their unique manufacturing processes, Covesion is undergoing a rapid expansion, supporting many high-growth markets such as: Laser-projectors (next generation displays), Terahertz Generation (3D Imaging Equipment) and OPO systems (for spectroscopy / material analysis).

The NanoKTN’s primary aim is to encourage and support UK organisations to collaborate and share knowledge with key partners in attractive end user markets to achieve growth of the UK micro and nanotechnology sector. Since 2009, the NanoKTN has worked closely with Covesion. By attending events hosted by the NanoKTN, Covesion has learnt about key funding opportunities which have resulted in them receiving funding from the Technology Strategy Board and EPSRC which in turn has helped the company move from being a university research idea to a commercially successful company.

Covesion is the only European-based manufacturer of its technology and currently only sees competition from companies in Asian states such as Japan. The versatile materials offer benefits to many markets including the entertainment industry, healthcare and homeland security.

"Attending events hosted by the NanoKTN has enabled us to link with UK companies, allowing us to improve processing and form partnerships that will enable Covesion to grow in the future," explains Mark Middleton, Managing Director at Covesion.

Middleton continues, "Strategic partnerships are so valuable to companies in the early stages of development, they enable you to move forward and develop relationships within industry. We have met people at NanoKTN events that we now work closely with. We regularly work with local electronics companies that we wouldn’t have known were there if we didn’t attend the NanoKTN’s NanoEntrepreneurs Group event. It is these partnerships that have resulted in the company’s sales increasing by 85% in the last year."

"It is unique and versatile technologies, like those offered by Covesion that we need to invest in. Covesion is the only company in Europe offering this type of technology and with the vast number of applications it can be used in, it is vital that we support it. Covesion is working within an annual billion dollar market and there is no doubt it is going to bring huge wealth to the UK," says Alec Reader, Director at the NanoKTN.

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