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Queen Mary spinout receives further funding to develop new optical communications technology

Chromosol, a spinout company from Queen Mary University of London, has received £500,000 seed investment to commercialise a new technology in the emerging field of silicon photonics.  

25 November 2019

The technology has the potential to vastly increase the speed of data transfer and could form the basis of next-generation computer systems.

The investment from IP Group, a developer of intellectual property-based businesses, shows their continued support for the company and follows their initial pre-seed financing in 2017.

Translating cutting-edge science into real world impact

Chromosol uses laser materials to manipulate light directly on silicon chips, allowing them to communicate via pulses of light rather than electrical signals.

This approach has the potential to change the economics and performance of a number of industries, increasing the speed of data transfer whilst also reducing power consumption.

To support the next stage of investment, experienced entrepreneur Dr Paul May has been appointed as the Executive Chairman and Commercial Director of Chromosol. With over 30 years’ experience in the semiconductor and photonic industries, Dr May has taken several novel technologies from early stage start-up to successful trade sale exit.

Dr May, said: “Silicon-based lasers have been a holy grail in the field of integrated photonics and hold the potential to impact on a number of industries, including telecommunications and data communications.

“I started working on silicon photonics technologies with IBM in the late 1980's and Chromosol's approach represents the most credible silicon-compatible laser and amplifier technology that I have encountered since.”

Dr Colin Davies, Senior Commercialisation Manager at Queen Mary Innovation, said: “The appointment of Dr May and further investment from IP group puts Chromosol in a great position make this new technology a reality.’

Prof William Gillin, Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Chromosol, said: “I’m delighted that IP Group are investing in the next stage of Chromosol. This will allow us to build a new class of photonic devices, such as lasers, directly on to silicon chips.”

Lee Thornton, Investment Director, IP Group, said: “This world-leading technology offers the potential to greatly increase the power of modern computing architecture and aligns well with our aim of creating world-class science-based companies.”

Queen Mary University of London was recently ranked fourth in the UK for commercialising its research in the Entrepreneurial Impact Ranking 2019, which identifies universities that are leading the way in creating and commercialising their academic research through spinout companies.

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For media information, contact:

Sophie McLachlan
Faculty Communications Manager (Science and Engineering)
email: sophie.mclachlan@qmul.ac.uk