Officially opened by the Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland, Professor Sheila Rowan, the newly-refurbished £12 million laboratory is part of the University’s internationally recognised Institute of Thin Films, Sensors and Imaging (ITFSI), a centre of excellence and a key thin films laboratory in the UK.
More than 60 delegates from industry, government and academia attended the launch of the new lab, which develops and specialises in industry-leading thin films research for various applications, including medical devices, sensors, engineering, optics, imaging systems, electronic devices and photonics.
The extensive upgrade and refurbishment has enabled the Institute to streamline and combine its research, development and commercialisation laboratories into one large, high-tech offering, which also includes the installation of novel, UWS-patented technology.
The investment into the new facilities will help the Institute continue to build on its successes, which, over the past five years, has won £7 million worth of external research and enterprise grants, as well as securing five patents and creating a new masters programme in advanced thin films technology.
The Institute has also produced UWS’ first-ever award-winning spin-out company and sensor success story, Novosound, which recently announced it had raised an additional £3.3 million funding to further develop its ultrasound sensor products and to pursue its global expansion plans.
Professor Des Gibson, Director of the Institute of Thin Films, Sensors & Imaging at UWS, said: “We are thrilled to formally unveil the Institute’s new thin films laboratory, which will bolster our position as one of the UK’s leading institutions in thin films, sensors and imaging.”
Professor Craig Mahoney, Principal & Vice-Chancellor of UWS, said: “We are incredibly proud of UWS’ capabilities in thin films, sensors and imaging, which has seen the Institute’s involvement in some of Scotland’s most innovative and pioneering research projects. Thin films have far-reaching applications in a host of sectors, many of which we come into contact with every day, from medical ultrasound to gas sensing, and it is fantastic to see the contribution being made right here at the University.”