US tech firm Sense Photonics to ramp up Scottish base

AN American technology business that last month closed a $26 million funding round is creating 38 jobs at its Edinburgh base after receiving a £1.9m grant from development agency Scottish Enterprise.

North Carolina-based Sense Photonics, which makes sensors that are used in autonomous vehicles, already has a research presence in Edinburgh, where it collaborates with the University of Edinburgh’s Institute of Integrated Micro and Nano Systems.

The Scottish Enterprise money will be used to expand that base into an Advanced LiDAR Research and Development Centre that will focus on all elements of sensor research.

Scott Burroughs, who co-founded Sense Photonics three years ago, said the firm is “looking forward to expanding rapidly with this new support”.

Scottish Enterprise director Mark Hallan said that the decision by Sense Photonics to grow its Edinburgh base “has the potential to put Scotland at the centre of the fast-growing LiDAR technology industry”.

“Scotland is already home to the University of Edinburgh’s pioneering Institute of Integrated Micro and Nano Systems, so there is a real opportunity to develop an ecosystem of talent in this sector here,” he said.

LiDAR remote sensing technology collects measurements using lasers and uses them to create the kind of 3D maps that are vital for autonomous cars.

Sense Photonics’ $26m funding round was backed by investors including Acadia Woods and Congruent Ventures.