News-Spot | Business News | Jan 26, 2012

Birmingham Science Park Aston Enters into a Partnership Agreement to Create a Europe-Leading Test Centre for Lighting Products

Birmingham Science Park Aston (BSPA) is entering into an agreement with Bridgend-based LUX-TSI to create LUX-OPC; a Europe-leading accredited test and measurement operation for energy efficient lighting and photonics products. The deal safeguards jobs in both locations and eight new jobs are expected to be created as a result.

BSPA’s Optical Performance Centre will become one of two state-of-the-art testing laboratories to be run by LUX-TSI. LUX’s Bridgend facility focuses on energy efficient lighting, electrical performance and safety testing, while the Birmingham testing laboratory will continue to specialise in the optical performance aspects of new lighting and photonics technology, and delivering ERDF-funded training programmes for the industry. LUX-TSI will manage both facilities; in return, BSPA will take an equity stake in the business.

Dr David Hardman MBE, CEO of Birmingham Science Park Aston said: “A key driver for this agreement was the opportunities that LUX-TSI’s ‘Preferred Partner’ status with UL (Underwriters Laboratories) will generate for Birmingham. UL is the world’s largest safety testing company, and since 2010 LUX-TSI has tested the performance of a vast array of consumer electronics and new energy efficient lighting products. The Bridgend facility is currently developing testing solutions with UL, suitable for products in the EU and also for export to the US and Asia. The aim going forwards is for the combined Bridgend and Birmingham operation to become the leading testing centre in Europe.”

LUX-TSI has also recently become one of only a small number of the UK Accreditation Service’s (UKAS) lighting product testing laboratories (to ISO17025 standard).  UKAS is a member of the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC), which ensures accreditation for measuring and testing services is internationally recognised. To expand the offering, both the Birmingham and Bridgend facilities will be compliant to this accreditation standard going forwards. Lighting and photonics product manufacturers, and Government-market surveillance and energy efficiency schemes require UKAS certification.

The agreement will see the range of technical training programmes and seminars offered at BSPA expanded in line with ERDF funding parameters and objectives.  LUX-TSI will also be working with the highly experienced staff based at the Science Park to market specialist software to assist companies with the understanding of the optical hazards of light sources, such as lasers, LEDs, flashlamps and other lighting products.

Dr Gareth Jones, Chief Executive of LUX-TSI said: “This is a very exciting development for the industry. The combination of the Birmingham and Bridgend facilities will increase technical, marketing and business development resources, as well as creating added value for our customers and our partner UL. We have had a good working relationship with Birmingham Science Park Aston’s Optical Performance Centre for several years and it is fantastic that we are now working together within a formal arrangement.”  

The Science Park’s £770,000 ERDF-funded project, which will be run under the new arrangement with LUX-TSI, is known as the Ultra Efficient Lighting Product Development Centre. SMEs with prototype and early-stage designs for new low-carbon lighting solutions can take advantage of vital support into research and development. The Development Centre is assisting with the creation of truly ‘next generation’ lighting products that offer huge improvements to quality, while reducing CO2 emissions. With the ‘green’ lighting technologies market forecast to grow by 19 per cent, this project is helping to ensure that West Midlands-based companies can continue to provide innovative,  market-leading solutions.

Businesses can assess 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.  

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 thermography, reflectometry and environmental and stress testing, as well as high speed imaging.

About Birmingham Science Park Aston:
Birmingham Science Park Aston (BSPA), was founded in 1982 and has been one of the premier Science Parks in the UK ever since. Wholly owned by Birmingham City Council, BSPA is actively looking to work with and bring together the public and private sectors, creating interfaces for people with ideas, people with technologies, people with expertise and experience, and people with money, to drive collaboration, thereby promoting innovation.
The Science Park has a highly successful Entrepreneurs for the Future (e4f) centre, which offers a dedicated programme that supports the next generation of tech entrepreneurs.
The Park has also recently announced a UK first by installing state-of-the-art technology to pioneer its ‘science park without walls’ concept. Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and start-up businesses can communicate with leading innovators, academics and investors from across the world as if they are sitting in the same room. The initiative has been made possible due to BSPA’s relationship with technology giant Cisco, which has welcomed the Park onto its Global Exchange for Growth programme.

About LUX-TSI:
Further information is available on www.lux-tsi.com.

About the European Regional Development Fund:
The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

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