Glasgow, Scotland, September 11, 2003. Scotland's reputation as a world-class center for laser technology has been strengthened with the opening of a center of design and manufacturing excellence. Coherent Scotland, based at the West of Scotland Science Park, has been chosen by its US parent for original equipment manufacturing (OEM) and scientific solid-state laser production.
UK Minister for Science and Innovation, Lord Sainsbury attended the official opening ceremony of the new 32,000 sq foot building, which includes a 4,000 sq foot clean room for manufacturing solid-state lasers. Lord Sainsbury said:
"I am delighted to open Coherent's new laser production facility. It is a fine example of how British excellence in science and technology plays a significant part in attracting inward investment to these shores.
"A strong science base is essential as the starting point for a successful innovation performance. That is why in July 2002 we announced that the science budget will rise by 10% a year on average in real terms, and will grow from £2 billion in 2002-03 to £2.9 billion by 2005-06. This will help us attract and retain high quality people, and ensure that the UK science and technology base matches world-class standards."
Coherent Scotland Ltd's Managing Director, Dr. Graeme Malcolm said: "Coherent Inc chose Scotland because of its formidable reputation for ideas and technology and over the last two years a rapid expansion of our development and manufacturing has created a world-class operation at the West of Scotland Science Park.
"Our highly skilled staff research, develop and manufacture laser systems for a range of global industries including semiconductor chip manufacturing, mastering of CD and DVDs, biomedical imaging, materials processing and scientific research and design.
"Over the next three to four years we expect new products to generate sales revenues of £25 million a year and our new facility will be capable of producing up to £50 million of laser systems per annum."
Coherent Scotland currently employs 46 employees and was originally formed as Microlase Optical Systems Ltd, a spin-out from Strathclyde University. The organization has successfully developed in the last ten years from a small innovator with a novel and innovative technology to a world-class leader in its industry sector. Microlase was acquired in 2000 by Coherent Inc. based in Santa Clara, California (www.coherent.com).
Laser Focus World