QinetiQ and AWM to stimulate development of advanced sensors

MAY 15, 2007--A new multimillion investment fund will be available to businesses beginning in June to stimulate the technical development of advanced sensors.

MAY 15, 2007--A new multimillion investment fund will be available to businesses beginning in June to stimulate the technical development of advanced sensors and their integration into technologies used in everyday life. Regional development agency Advantage West Midlands (AWM) has joined forces with international defense and security technology company QinetiQ (Farnborough, UK; www.qinetiq.com) to provide access to sensor technology and funding to develop new commercial opportunities. With the combination of QinetiQ's advanced sensors capability and know how and investment funding of £10.5 million from AWM to help businesses identify, develop, and commercially exploit new products, the total value of the Advanced Sensors Program stands at more than £20 million.

Sensors are used to detect motion, light, temperature, pressure, flow, and a variety of other properties. They are equally as important to both generating new products and improving processes and play a vital role across a range of industries, for example as household smoke detectors, vehicle reversing aids, and for ingredients monitoring in the food-processing industry.

Successful applicants will be given access to the research-and-development capabilities of QinetiQ. QinetiQ experts will help companies determine whether incorporating or improving sensor technology is appropriate for them and will work with companies to explore the possible solutions for their products and processes. The involvement of QinetiQ also gives projects a commercial focus so that the investment in technology provides rewards to all the participants.

Simon Bennett, managing director of QinetiQ commercial business, said: "Up to half a million pounds could be available to each successful business participating in the project in the form of both technical and business support."

The advanced sensors project has three stages. During stage one, businesses will receive assistance in qualifying their ideas and building specific propositions for the use of sensor technology. Stage two will focus on proof of concept and technical development, followed by the design, construction, and testing of prototypes. Stage three is about the commercial exploitation of the ideas, with QinetiQ assisting businesses to access finance and roll out the technology through volume manufacturing and product marketing.

The advanced sensors project will be launched at QinetiQ's Malvern Technology Centre on Thursday 7 June 2007. The launch will provide companies with the opportunity to find out more about the project and gain an insight into the types of technologies and expertise available through demonstrations of the products developed by QinetiQ.

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