£777,000 lighting product development centre launched at Birmingham Science Park Aston

West Midlands-based businesses developing new, low-carbon lighting solutions are being offered vital support into research and development thanks to a £770,000 project launched at Birmingham Science Park Aston (BSPA).

Based at the Park, the Ultra Efficient Lighting Product Development Centre has been designed to assist in the creation of truly ‘next generation’, lighting products that offer huge improvements to quality, while reducing CO2 emissions.

Launched through a £385,000 grant from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) – with match-funding provided by BSPA boosting it to £770,000 – the centre can offer space and support for up to 100 small-to-medium sized enterprises with prototype and early-stage designs for new lighting solutions.

Norman Price, Deputy Chair of the West Midlands ERDF Local Management Committee said: “I am really pleased that we are able to offer support through the European Regional Development Fund to help businesses in the area take forward their ideas within this field and make them a reality. With the market poised for substantial growth it is always a challenge for local businesses to keep evolving and maintain up to speed with new developments.

“Through this project we are able to ensure businesses can grow and diversify by taking forward their own new technologies that will help strengthen the local economy.”

Businesses will be able to test their technologies using BSPA’s state-of-the-art photonics equipment and facilities, as well as gaining access to a variety of specialist advice and guidance on everything from bringing products to the market, to the most effective way of working with the photonics supply chain.  Companies will also be offered assistance in raising their competitive edge within the marketplace.

Dr David Hardman MBE, Chief Executive Officer, Birmingham Science Park Aston, said: “By securing the ERDF funding we have been able to build on our existing photonics services and launch new facilities to ensure that we offer state-of-the-art resources to a wide range of local businesses. In particular we can now provide a greatly focussed approach to the rapidly expanding ultra-efficient lighting sector.  

“The West Midlands has traditionally had a strong presence in the lighting technologies sector and with the widespread adoption of more environmentally conscious solutions, we need to ensure that we are continuing to innovate by remaining at the cutting edge. With the ‘green’ lighting technologies market forecast to grow by 19 per cent, this project will help to ensure that West Midlands-based companies can continue to provide innovative,  market-leading solutions.”

Using cutting-edge, state-of-the-art equipment, the Centre can perform a multitude of different tests, from measuring light and colour to defining complex optical structures.  The team can also undertake complex specialist tests such as motion thermography, reflectometry and environmental and stress testing, as well as high speed imaging.