Innovate UK Funding supports high-speed, laser technology advancements

Innovate UK funding of £123,000 has been awarded to Professor Tony Kelly to continue a long-term industrial partnership with Compound Semiconductor Technologies Global (CSTG) to meet global demand for high-speed passive optical networks (PON).

The Hamilton-based company is a high-volume producer of III-V Compound Semiconductors and has worked closely with researchers from the School of Engineering since 2011. The recent Innovate UK award is the latest in a long line of funding support to facilitate the research collaboration.

CSTG was originally positioned as a foundry, providing custom fabrication services. However, working with experts in the University, particularly in high-speed communication systems testing, device modelling and advanced fabrication, alongside the company’s own highly skilled engineers, has enabled the company to develop a range of high volume, standard laser products for the optical communications markets. As a result of their improved capabilities in design, manufacture and test, through the partnership, CSTG’s product range has benefited from significantly increased revenues.

Professor Kelly works as a consultant for CSTG, focusing on next-generation, high-speed, optoelectronic technology. Tony, who is a renowned expert in photonics, divides his time equally between the company and the University in a secondment funded by the EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account.

Recognising the importance of a skilled workforce, CSTG have strengthened their partnership with the School of Engineering by investing in undergraduate training, industrial PhD Scholarships and PhD scholarships, based in the School’s Centre for Doctoral Training.

The recent Innovate-UK funding is extending the collaborative work to include blue laser technology and advanced semiconductor etching to reduce manufacturing costs.

Neil Martin, CEO of CSTG, explained the significance of the support from the University: “We are delighted to continue our ongoing working relationship with Tony and his team at Glasgow. The alliance has enabled us to grow our product range and tackle new, emerging markets. We have also helped students gain hands-on experience of a commercial environment, which in turn, provides CST Global with a potential, specialist, post-graduate recruitment pool of exceptional staff.”

First published: 15 October 2018