|2 August 2016|


A pioneering spin out company from the University of Strathclyde has secured a major funding boost which will enable it break into the renewable energy market.

Synaptec is a leading developer of high performance fibre optic technology which reduces the downtime and operating costs of electrical power networks through improved monitoring.

The £370,000 investment from the Equity Gap business angel syndicate, Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, and the University of Strathclyde, will allow the company to explore opportunities within markets including subsea development and renewable energy.

Synaptec already works with clients including SSE and Scottish Power and this funding will help to grow its team, ramp up operations and broaden the scope of the business.

Founded in 2014, Synaptec develops and deploys unique photonic sensing systems that use existing optical fibre network to help electricity network operators determine the health and capacity of their systems. This includes increased monitoring of voltage and current, temperature, strain and dynamic vibration.

Dr Philip Orr, managing director and one of the founders of Synaptec, says: “Monitoring, protection and control of power networks is becoming more important than ever thanks to increased global electricity demand and the simultaneous move to greater penetration of distributed renewable energy sources.

“By improving network management through enhanced awareness, we provide multiple benefits to network operators and society including cost reductions, enhanced security of energy supply, and reduced emissions.

“Our technology and approach has the potential to deliver similar performance improvements for other markets including renewables and subsea systems. The investment from Equity Gap, the Scottish Investment Bank and the University will help us to capitalise on these opportunities and we have already hired a new member of staff to broaden our capabilities.”

Fraser Lusty of Equity Gap, added: “We are delighted to support Philip and the team at Synaptec. Their proprietary technology impressed greatly and will allow them to scale in two key sectors where they can facilitate operational efficiencies, as well as reduce costs, for global corporate customers.”

Synaptec is a spin out from the University of Strathclyde’s Institute for Energy & Environment. The company has an executive team with a leading research background in the areas of photonic instrumentation and power systems, and an advisory team with a strong track record of company formation and growth in these fields.

As well as working with commercial clients, Synaptec is also involved in a number of research projects with institutions including the European Marine Energy Centre on Orkney.