Seren Photonics raises £475k to build its first pilot scale HB LEDs

Dec 14th, 2010
Date Announced: 14 Dec 2010

Fusion IP (AIM: FIP), the university IP commercialisation company that turns world class research into business, is pleased to announce that its portfolio company, Seren Photonics Ltd (“Seren”), has completed its first round funding, that will enable it to build its first pilot scale HB LEDs.

Seren’s revolutionary new processing technique, developed by Dr Tao Wang from the University of Sheffield, greatly increases the efficiency at which a HB LED converts an applied voltage into light and significantly reduces heat generation under normal running conditions.

Successful demonstrations of the patent pending technology have so far resulted in a doubling of the light output compared to untreated devices, which means that either much brighter lamps can be manufactured or that the power consumption of state-of-the-art lamps can be reduced.

Seren’s technology is targeted at the large and fast growing white light HB LED markets, such as back lighting for laptops and TVs, signs and displays, as well as domestic and architectural lighting. This market is currently worth an estimated $5bn and is set to grow to $12bn by 2013. New technology is also needed in the lighting industry and HB LEDs are set to replace incandescent bulbs (most countries have agreed to scrap incandescent bulbs by the middle of the decade) provided the brightness can be increased and the cost of manufacture reduced.

Seren’s funding round raised a total of £475k from a number of investors, including Fusion, IP Group and Dr Drew Nelson, founder and CEO of the global semiconductor foundry, IQE plc.

The funding will be used to purchase key capital equipment and complete several pilot scale manufacturing cycles involving Seren’s manufacturing processes. The packaged HB LEDs will be used as demonstration products to showcase the technology to larger HB LED manufacturers. Seren has already started discussions with three Far East based manufacturers.

Dr Godfrey Ainsworth, appointed Chairman of Seren in May 2010, said:
“We have made significant progress with the development of this technology in recent months. Incorporation of our process technology in to packaged pilot HB LEDs will allow us to demonstrate our product to potential manufacturing partners and early adopters from the potential customer base. We are already engaged in discussions with these parties”.

David Baynes, Chief Executive Officer of Fusion IP, commented:
"Seren continues to make excellent progress and we are excited by the results to date. There is a huge potential market for their revolutionary technology and we remain confident that the light output, which is already double untreated devices, will be significantly increased as the process is optimised."

About Fusion IP
Fusion IP plc (Fusion) was established in 2002 to commercialise university-generated intellectual property. It has long-term exclusive agreements with two of the UK’s leading research intensive universities, the University of Sheffield and Cardiff University, giving it exclusive access to a combined R&D spend of over £185m a year.

Fusion’s first agreement was a ten-year exclusive arrangement with the University of Sheffield giving it the right to commercialise (through both the creation of spin-out companies and licensing) research, owned by the University, initially in the area of medical life sciences. This agreement was expanded in July 2008 to include all non-life science research-generated IP such as energy, engineering and electronics. Fusion has significant shareholdings in a portfolio of University of Sheffield spin-out companies including Simcyp, Magnomatics, Diurnal and Phase Focus.

In January 2007, Fusion completed a ten year exclusive agreement with Cardiff University, also giving it the right to commercialise (through the creation of spin-out companies) Cardiff University's research-generated IP. Fusion has significant shareholdings in a portfolio of Cardiff University spin-out companies including Mesuro, Abcellute, MedaPhor and Q-Chip.
On 2 December 2009 Fusion announced that it had raised approximately £3.2 million through a fund raising and that as a result, IP Group held approximately 19.8% of Fusion.

Fusion has also entered into a new Co-Investment Agreement with IP Group, in which IP Group has the right to acquire for cash, 20% of Fusion’s equity in any new portfolio company. As Fusion normally owns 60% of any new portfolio company at start-up, IP Group’s shareholding would normally equate to a 12% stake in the new portfolio company.
Fusion IP also has a Memorandum of Understanding with Finance Wales, the provider of commercial funding to Wales-based SMEs, which outlines a strategy of co-investment in opportunities arising from the Cardiff Agreemen

Contact
Fusion IP +44 (0)114 275 5555 David Baynes, CEO Tony Gardiner, CFO Seren +44 (0) 7974 808 674 Carl Griffiths, CEO

E-mail:carl@serenphotonics.com

Web Site:www.serenphotonics.com

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