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4 August 2009 | PR 09/99

Phase Vision scoops Business Angel investment award

Loughborough University spin out Phase Vision has scooped an award from the British Business Angels Association (BBAA) – the “Early Stage Investment of the Year” - having been nominated by Connect Midlands.

The award was announced at the BBAA's Annual Conference and Awards Ceremony, which took place at the Belfry Hotel and Golf Resort earlier this month in front of over 250 delegates from the angel and early stage investment market. 

Based at Loughborough Innovation Centre on the University’s campus, Phase Vision develops products that provide incredibly accurate measurement data which can be used in a wide range of industries, including the transport sector.  Its products are 3D measurement systems using a non-contact structured lighting technique, originally developed at Loughborough University. 

Phase Vision recently confirmed funding of over £1.4M led by Octopus Ventures, with the Lachesis Fund (and others) also participating. Connect Midlands had assisted Phase Vision over the last year in preparing for the investment and introducing them to potential backers.

The judges sought evidence that an investment had supported the successful growth of an early stage business or enabled a significant innovation to flourish. They agreed that the investment into Phase Vision showed “strong support for the company in enabling the further development of its innovative measurement systems for the transport industry at a time when this sector is facing considerable challenges.”  

Loughborough’s Professor of Applied Mechanics and co-inventor of Phase Vision’s technology, Jon Huntley, commented on the award:  “It is very rewarding to see the many years of technical development turning into a commercial success, and excellent news that this has now been recognised by the BBAA award.  Our investors, and the commercial and technical leadership shown by Ralph Weir and Russell Coggrave, have been vital factors in that success.  What is particularly exciting is the way that the research and enterprise activity have fed off each other, with three sponsored PhD students and numerous undergraduate and MSc project students benefiting directly from the close links with a dynamic spinout  company.”


For all media enquiries contact:

Anna Seddon
Marketing Manager, Enterprise Office      
Loughborough University
T: 01509 223445
E: A.J.Seddon@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

1. Phase Vision’s patented technology was originally developed at Loughborough University.  The company was founded in 2002 and operated as a successful consultancy providing advanced bespoke metrology systems to blue-chip customers.  Since 2008, the company has transitioned into a products supplier, providing measurement systems which provide breakthroughs in speed and accuracy – and ease of use.

The measurement technology is based on projecting patterns of white light onto the object to be measured, and using cameras to analyse the details of how the light pattern is distorted, or modulated, by the object’s presence.   Powerful computers then determine the shape of the object, with millions of measurements being taken within seconds – yet each is accurate to a few microns.

Older laser-based systems are commonplace, but are broadly analogous to the old “dial-up” technologies used in communications.  Mastery of white light brings significant benefits in performance, plus the ability to measure optically challenging surfaces, makes today’s announcement critical throughout the manufacturing industry.

As an example – it is clear that polished metal components cause reflections, and are thus harder to measure with light.  Carbon Fibre, and other composite materials, absorb light – providing additional challenges.   These are the issues that Phase Vision has addressed in a fast, accurate and reliable measurement system for industry.

2. Connect Midlands is a not-for-profit network, part-funded by the ERDF and emda, operating out of Warwick Ventures at the University of Warwick. It supports technology and high growth companies to gain investment through training and mentoring, investment showcasing events, and networking between businesses, investors, intermediaries, support agencies and the academic community.  There are two offices in the Midlands; an East Midlands office at the Loughborough Innovation Centre and a West Midlands office at the University of Warwick.

3. The Lachesis Fund, now based at De Montfort University, is an £8M seed fund established by the universities of De Montfort, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham and Nottingham Trent.  The Fund invests in early stage businesses emerging from the partner universities, and supports those businesses in many ways with the aim of making them a commercial success.
Lachesis contact details at De Montfort University:  0116 2506067 or www.LachesisFund.co.uk

4. Loughborough University Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2008 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, with 22 out of 30 of its subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. It was named winner of the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other institution.

It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research-intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

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