08 November 2019
CST Global welcomed Ivan McKee, Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, to its manufacturing facility in Blantyre, Glasgow, in October. CST Global is a III-V, compound semiconductor chip manufacturer supplying high-growth telecoms, industrial, defense and healthcare markets around the world. The visit allowed Mr McKee to better understand the growth opportunities that many UK Photonics companies, like CST Global, are experiencing.
Billy McLaughlin, MD at CST Global, said, “CST Global employs 66 people in Blantyre; exports 92% of what it makes; utilizes a mostly UK-based, supply chain; and is growing rapidly. This is typical of many other companies in the UK Photonics sector, which is worth an estimated £13.5bn to the UK economy and employs 69,000 people*.
“CST Global has been coordinating the voice of the UK Photonics industry through its TechnologyatCST.org forum. The high growth of UK Photonics companies has created specific investment needs for expansion, automation and productivity.
“Funding is also required to mitigate investment risk for critical new Photonics research. This can also encourage inter-company collaboration and helps to build a robust, UK supply chain. We suggested that a Scottish Enterprise-funded, collaborative project to develop optical Artificial Intelligence chips for the $65bn, world-wide AI market**, should be considered, modelled on the successful, Scottish Enterprise-funded, MIRAGE project.”
The statistics clearly show that investment in the UK Photonics industry, growing at 4.1%* into markets growing at over 40%***, would deliver incredible returns - well above the UK manufacturing average.”
Image from left: Euan Livingston, VP Sales and Marketing; Ivan McKee, Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation; Andy McKee, Technical Director; Billy McLaughlin, Managing Director; Nick Bowden, PR and Marketing.
*Source: Photonics Leadership Group.
***Source: Yolé Développement