The University of Southampton

ORC Spin-out Stratophase Nominated as Business Initiative of the Year by THES

Published: 20 January 2006

The Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) has nominated Stratophase Ltd for the 2005 Business Initiative of the Year Award. Stratophase is one of several companies spun out of the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), a part of the University of Southampton.

'We are very pleased to see our work recognised in this way.' said Professor Peter Smith, one of the founders of Stratophase. 'A lot has been achieved by Stratophase over the last few years, thanks to the hard work of the people involved and the start we were given by the University.'

Stratophase was initially formed by academics from the ORC and the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton, to work on a single bespoke project. The profit was then used for development of products that convert the colours of laser light. Lasers generally will only produce light of one very specific colour, depending on the properties of the laser material. If laser light is required that can’t be created directly, an efficient converter is required.

Stratophase started to see real growth through an agreement with the well-known optical components supplier Thorlabs. Thorlabs now stock a number of standard orderable components from Stratophase, and provide a sales channel for custom-designed components. The profit from these sales is helping develop new types of sensors with applications in medicine, defence, security and the petrochemical industry.

Stratophase is one of nine companies in the Southampton area that have roots in the ORC, either having been directly spun out of the University, or as part of the cascade effect that has taken place. The ORC is itself home to several inventions that have changed the world.

The awards dinner and presentation by the THES will take place on the 23rd of November 05.

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