Fibercore Ltd Fibercore Ltd was started in 1982 by members of the University of Southampton’s Optoelectronics Research Centre and is now probably the world's longest established manufacturer of singlemode optical fibres for special applications. 'HiBi' polarisation maintaining fibre, introduced in 1982, and the DF1500 series of erbium doped fibres, introduced in 1988, were amongst the very first commercially-available examples of their technologies and remain key milestones in the history of both Fibercore and fibreoptics. In 2001, 2004 and 2007, the company won four Queen’s Awards for Enterprise (twice), International Trade and Sustainable Development.
Early in its history, the company moved into a multi-occupancy building on Southampton Science Park, benefiting from the favourable facilities for early-stage businesses. As the business grew, the company was able to expand its footprint, culminating in a custom-built research, development and production facility on the Park. The company recently celebrated its 30th anniversary and continues actively to drive forward the boundaries of technologies in aerospace, metrology, telecommunications components, sensors and defence.
Symetrica Ltd Symetrica Ltd was spun-out of the University of Southampton’s Department of Physics and Astronomy in 2002 to commercialise high performance gamma ray spectrometers, imaging hardware and software. In 2005 the company moved to the Innovation Centre at the Science Park, where they benefited from flexible lease terms and access to support facilities, including the University’s SETsquared business accelerator.
Within two years, the company had partnered with Smiths Detection to win their first major contract with the US Department of Homeland Security to develop and supply next-generation radiation detectors.They quickly outgrew their initial accommodation and expanded first into Epsilon House and then Phi House at the Science Park, doubling their size every 18 months. By the end of 2011, the next-generation handheld system had been launched incorporating Symetrica Discovery Technology for isotope detection and identification and they had commissioned a new primary portal with isotope classification. The company’s annual turnover had risen to £4m and the scale of manufacturing led them to seek significantly larger premises. In 2012, they left the Park and moved to new premises in North Baddesley.
PhotonstarLED Ltd PhotonstarLED Ltd was founded in 2007 by James Mackenzie, former CEO of Mesophotonics Ltd, a University of Southampton spin-out company. PhotonStar is a LED lighting fixture designer and manufacturer, whose lighting products have won a number of industry awards for innovation and design. Its ‘Smart’ range LED fixtures allow greater levels of energy efficiency to be achieved by end users through a combination of light source efficiency and control.
The company initially occupied accommodation in the Innovation Centre at the Science Park where it grew rapidly. Following acquisition of Romsey-based Architectural Lighting and Controls Ltd, the company graduated from the Science Park and moved to premises in Romsey. In 2010 the company was floated on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) and has delivered dramatic growth over subsequent years.
SEaB Energy Ltd SEaB Energy Ltd was founded in 2009 by Sandra and Nick Sassow to exploit opportunities in the renewable energy sector. Originally based in the New Forest, the company moved to the Science Park in 2010 and, with the support of SETsquared, focussed on developing a containerised anaerobic digestion system (the ‘Muckbuster’), capable of producing heat and power from waste. The Science Park collaborated with the company, allowing a technology demonstration Muckbuster to be sited at the Park. In 2012, after winning several business awards and benefiting from the enhanced visibility of being at the Science Park, the company was selected from a global short list of 500 companies to be part of the US LAUNCH programme. LAUNCH, a collaboration between NASA, USAID, Department of State, and NIKE, searches for visionaries, whose world-class ideas, technologies or programs show great promise for making tangible impacts on society. With the support of LAUNCH, SEaB is now preparing plans to deploy units globally using local partners and a localised supply chain.