QinetiQ and Advantage West Midlands join forces to stimulate the development of advanced sensors

14 May 2007

New fund available to businesses to introduce sensor technology into their products

A new multi-million investment fund will be available to businesses from early next month to stimulate the technical development of advanced sensors and their integration into technologies used in everyday life.

Regional Development Agency Advantage West Midlands has joined forces with leading international defence and security technology company QinetiQ to provide access to sensor technology and funding to develop exciting new commercial opportunities.

With the combination of QinetiQ’s advanced sensors capability and know how and investment funding of £10.5 million from Advantage West Midlands to help businesses identify, develop and commercially exploit new innovative products, the total value of the Advanced Sensors Programme stands at over £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, one of the largest employers of scientists and engineers in the UK. QinetiQ experts, based in Malvern in Worcestershire, will help companies determine whether incorporating or improving sensor technology is appropriate for them, and 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's 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. QinetiQ employs some of the world's best minds who will work with businesses to develop advanced sensors; but what sets QinetiQ apart is our proven ability to take technology to market and we will help businesses integrate sensors into innovative solutions that make a big difference in everyday life."

Nick Paul, Chairman at Advantage West Midlands said: "This project offers massive opportunities for West Midlands businesses to develop and incorporate sensor technology to produce world beating, innovative products.

He added: "This is a great opportunity to access the technical capabilities of QinetiQ, one of the leading technology companies in the country and I urge businesses in the West Midlands to take part."

The advanced sensors project has three stages, with tangible benefits for businesses at every stage. 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, Malvern, Worcestershire 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.

QinetiQ People Who Know How
QinetiQ and Advantage West Midlands join forces to stimulate the development of advanced sensors