Scientists from the UK won a major research contract worth 10.2m

Scientists from the UK won a major research contract worth £10.2m

UK Scientists develop laser technology for HiLASE and Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) projects in the Czech Republic.

The Extreme Light Infrastructure project (ELI) is a large, pan-European research project which aims to build lasers with a huge energy density – ten times higher than that currently achievable. More than 40 research institutes from 13 EU Member States have taken part in the project with a budget of EUR 879 million, largely co-financed by EU structural funds. The facility, based on four sites, is the first large scale research infrastructure based in the new EU Member States. The first three sites are situated in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania. The fourth site has not yet to be selected.

The HiLASE project is part of the ELI project and focuses on the development of high-repetition lasers and laser systems which will be used in industry, small- and medium-scale research laboratories and in future European large-scale facilities within the European Research Area (ERA). The project will focus on diode-pumped solid state laser systems and on the development of associated technologies. Both projects should be fully operational by 2016.

These projects offer great procurement opportunities for UK businesses. In early March 2013, the Czech Institute of Physics, the host institute for both the ELI and HiLASE projects, signed a contract with the Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and Rutherford Appleton Laboratories for delivery of the diode-pumped laser, worth GBP 10.2 million, by May 2015. This contract is excellent news for the STFC and further reinforces the international reputation of the UK’s world-leading research facilities like the STFC’s Central Laser Facility. As well as this success, UK companies have already won more than £5.5m in procurement contracts from ELI/HiLASE projects.

Large EU-funded science research projects are among the top commercial priorities of the British Embassy’s Commercial Diplomacy team in the Czech Republic, and have benefited from the more strategic campaigning approach to commercial diplomacy adopted by UKTI last year. The successful delivery of contracts for UK companies is indicative of the joint, cross-team effort (UK Trade & Investment, Science & Innovation Network, and Political and Comms Team) put in by members of the British Embassy in Prague over the past months.

The Commercial Diplomacy team in Prague will continue to work on strengthening the appeal of the UK’s scientific research capabilities to the Czech Republic, and will work with colleagues across the Central European Network to take maximum advantage of similar opportunities across the region.

Contacts

If you want to find out more about winning business in the ELI/HiLASE project please contact: Jana Urbankova, email: jana.urbankova@fco.gov.uk.

To find out if UKTI can help your business expand overseas call: 0845 074 3515

or visit: www.ukti.gov.uk/czechrepublic

Sectors: Digital Services, Electronics, Electronics & IT Technologies, and Technology
Countries: Czech Republic
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