Another Birmingham Science Park success story

Accredited laboratory services company LUX-TSI has secured £430,000 investment to expand its facilities in Birmingham and at its Bridgend headquarters; creating new jobs and finding new markets.

LUX-TSI Birmingham Science ParkSpecialising in the testing of photonics, energy-efficient lighting and consumer products, LUX-TSI has state-of-the-art laboratories at Birmingham Science Park Aston and at its headquarters at the Sony UK Technology Centre in Bridgend, South Wales. In order to create significant working capital and facilitate rapid growth, a £158,000 grant has been awarded by the Welsh Government; a £150,000 loan has been received from Finance Wales; £100,000 of loan income has been secured from Asset Advantage; and a £25,000 loan has also been arranged with Henry Howard Finance.

LUX-TSI is a preferred partner of global testing company UL (Underwriters’ Laboratories). UL is establishing European centres of excellence, with LUX-TSI having been approved to fulfil its UK and Ireland service. With demand continually rising from UK firms wishing to certify products for global markets, the funding and partnership arrangement enabled the testing specialists to create six new jobs during 2012.

Dr Gareth Jones, Chief Executive of LUX-TSI said: “We experienced very strong growth in 2012 and have significantly strengthened our partnership with UL, offering testing and certification services for LED lighting and other products. Growth projections for this year are even stronger, enabled by the new investment through a combination of public and private funding. We expect turnover to rise by over 200 per cent this year and are planning to recruit at least five new professionals to join the team.

Gareth Jones - LUX-TSI, Gary Gould and Dr David Hardman - both Birmingham Science Park

Gareth Jones – LUX-TSI, Gary Gould and Dr David Hardman – both Birmingham Science Park

“In addition to testing, we are also expanding into new markets. At the point of launching our eyeLIGHTTM software platform at the end of last year – in conjunction with the National Physical Laboratory – it won the Institute of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) Measurement in Action Award. The £430,000 of additional working capital we now have will help significantly with expanding the facilities and the variety and amount of work we can undertake at our Bridgend HQ and Birmingham Science Park laboratories.”

LUX-TSI is also one of a small number of the UK Accreditation Service’s (UKAS) approved lighting product testing companies (to ISO17025 standard). The testing specialist is also approved to carry out photometric testing of lighting and signage products under the BSI (British Standards Institution) guidelines for automotive and roadside applications. LUX-TSI also has a strategic agreement with the National Physical Laboratory – the UK’s national measurement standards laboratory – to provide software and training services for lighting and laser safety applications.

Ann Casey, Investment Executive for Finance Wales’ technology venture investments team said: “LUX-TSI provides a comprehensive range of specialised services to test and accredit energy-efficient lighting. With all new lighting products requiring accreditation, the company’s current growth levels are impressive.  Our investment will underpin LUX’s expansion, providing the working capital it needs to increase its capacity in line with demand, as well as to develop services for new markets.”

LUX’s facilities focus on energy efficient lighting, electrical performance, safety testing and the optical performance aspects of new lighting and photonics technology. In Birmingham, the team also delivers ERDF-funded training programmes for the industry. It also markets specialist software to assist companies with the understanding of the optical hazards of light sources, such as lasers, LEDs, flashlamps and other lighting products.

Birmingham Science Park’s £770,000 ERDF-funded project, which is run with LUX-TSI, is known as the Ultra Efficient Lighting Product Development Centre. SMEs with prototype and early-stage designs for new low-carbon lighting solutions can take advantage of vital support into research and development. The Development Centre is assisting with the creation of truly ‘next generation’ lighting products that offer huge improvements to quality, while reducing CO2 emissions.

Using cutting-edge, state-of-the-art equipment, a multitude of different tests can be performed, from measuring light and colour to defining complex optical structures.  The team can also undertake complex specialist tests such as thermography, reflectometry and environmental and stress testing, as well as high speed imaging.