Edinburgh laser innovator has sights set on Japan after new partnership

Chromacity, the Edinburgh-based laser pioneer, has the Japanese market in its sights after agreeing a new distribution partnership.

The deal signed with MSH Systems will see the Scots firm supply and distribute its ultrashort pulse lasers across Japan.

Based in Tokyo, MSH provides a wide range of optical components, lasers and spectroscopy equipment for industrial applications and academic institutes. The collaboration will see the company promote Chromacity’s range of lasers and optical parametric oscillators (OPOs) for imaging and sensing applications.

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Economic support agency Scottish Enterprise has supported Chromacity since its formation in a number of ways, including via its scaling services team to help the company make the transition from a university spin-out in 2013.

Chromacity’s fixed wavelength systems provide reliable laser sources for the life science imaging community, while the company’s OPO technology enables detection and spectroscopy techniques that can be used to identify and quantify chemical signatures within the atmosphere.

Through its international arm, Scottish Development International (SDI), Scottish Enterprise was able to facilitate the company’s Japanese market entry through access to its extensive global network.

Shahida Imani, chief executive of Chromacity, and newly appointed vice-chair of the Photonics Leadership Group (PLG), said: “The Asia Pacific region presents a significant opportunity for our ultrashort pulse lasers.

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“We know that major industrial players in Japan are interested in the reliability and tunable wavelengths of our systems, so establishing in-country relationships with key channel partners, like MSH Systems, is absolutely vital to our success in the region.”

Analysts predict that the ultrafast laser market in the Asia Pacific region is set to increase from some $500 million (£373m) in 2021 to $1.2 billion by 2028.

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Victoria Carmichael, director of strategic investment at Scottish Enterprise, said: “The fact that Chromacity is now making significant in-roads in international markets is no surprise. We’ve long championed Chromacity as a company with excellent technological expertise and high growth potential – from its early days to our recent equity investment and via the invaluable support of our field colleagues in Asia.”

Katsuo Morita, chief executive of MSH Systems, added: “We are very excited to establish a partnership with Chromacity and offer its ultrafast lasers to the Japanese market. The affordability of Chromacity’s plug and play optical parametric oscillators will help our customers to advance their research and develop industrial applications.”

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In August, Chromacity closed a £1.2m funding round involving existing investors, Kelvin Capital, Eos and Scottish Enterprise, as well as new investor ESM Investments.

The firm said it would use the funding to expand its workforce, particularly within its manufacturing and research and development divisions.

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Having initially commenced its growth raise last year, the firm closed the round after securing a second tranche of funding that included the new investment from Stirling-based ESM.

Ian Stevens, Chromacity’s non-executive chairman, said at the time: “Chromacity has continually demonstrated that, not only does it have the disruptive technology needed to drive new ultrafast laser applications, but that it can also innovate its business model in the face of challenging circumstances, such as a global pandemic.

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“With this funding round, the company’s investors, both new and old, have recognised these qualities and the significant opportunity that exists to bring ultrafast laser technology into new, and as-yet untapped, markets.”

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Edinburgh laser pioneer focuses on Asian growth after seven-figure funding boost
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