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£10m sensor centre will help Scotland to tap $60bn market

16 January, 2014

A £10m centre dedicated to developing sensing systems and technologies has been inaugurated in Scotland. The Glasgow-based Centre for Sensor and Imaging Systems (Censis) will bring together 12 Scottish universities with industry partners to collaborate on the early stages of new product development. 

The centre, which is being backed by the Scottish government and several national agencies, aims to tap into the global sensor systems technology market, which is forecast to be worth more than $60bn by 2015. There are already around 140 companies working on sensors and imaging systems (SIS) in Scotland, contributing around £2.5bn a year to the Scottish economy.

Until the Spring of 2014, Censis will be located at the University of Glasgow and will then move to Scotland's International Technology & Renewable Energy Zone (Itrez) in Glasgow. During the course of its initial five-year funding, the centre is expected to deliver 150 collaborative research and development projects.

Censis will act as a single contracting point for companies to access SIS research capabilities in Scotland's universities and research institutions. It will integrate communities of academic research and industry leaders to encourage significant, large-scale collaboration.

“Scotland is already at the forefront of this technology and, by bringing expertise together, Censis is ideally placed to continue the development of our broad and deep research capabilities,” says Fergus Ewing, Scotland’s Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism, who launched the centre this week. “I believe that aligning activity within universities to address industry-defined needs gives us the potential for substantial future growth.”

Ewing: the potential for substantial future growth

Laurence Howells, interim chief executive of the Scottish Funding Council, says that “the innovation created by universities and industry working together will create new high-tech jobs in Scotland and help transform our economy.”

Censis’ CEO, David Clark, cautions that “we have a major challenge ahead of us – but the potential for economic growth in the SIS sector is enormous. Scotland has the knowledge within its academic institutions, the capabilities within its industrial base and the collective ability to excel. Censis will foster a new ‘coalition of the willing’ to deliver the growth that is within our reach.”

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