The Glasgow-based Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics, which works with companies in fields such as quantum technology, defence, healthcare and renewable energy, has hailed £6.5 million of funding from Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise.

It said the core funding, announced by Ivan McKee, Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise, will allow it to buy equipment and fund doctorate-level student training.

Housed in the University of Strathclyde’s Technology and Innovation Centre, Fraunhofer has delivered more than 180 projects with 100 companies, mainly producing pre-production prototypes and validating novel technology, over almost a decade.

Mr McKee said the centre is “a key asset for Scotland’s photonics sector and highly valued by both business and academia”.

He said: “In the longer term we want to boost Scotland’s innovation performance to match the levels of the best performing countries worldwide.”

The centre said education and equipment are crucial parts of the Fraunhofer model in delivering next generation products and processes.

Linda Hanna, managing director at Scottish Enterprise, said: “Nine years ago, Fraunhofer chose Scotland as the location for its first UK research centre, and since then it’s become an established and respected asset that helps Scottish businesses harness innovation for their development and growth.”

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, said: “This funding boost is recognition by the Scottish Government of the importance of this centre of excellence, one of the jewels in the Glasgow City Innovation District.”

Simon Andrews, executive director, Fraunhofer UK Research, said: “This financial support is a base from which Fraunhofer wins more than twice as much again in direct contract research for companies and also in collaborative projects for industry. This model is recognised worldwide as the exemplary way of accelerating innovation.”

The centre is one of a network of specialist research facilities across Europe which working on behalf of industry and are named after the German physicist, Joseph von Fraunhofer.

It is described as a cornerstone of the UK’s quantum technology programme, collaborating widely to win 30 per cent of available funding.