03/12/2004

University spin-off firm floated on Stock Exchange

Friday morning's Alternative Investment Market flotation of Queen's University spin-off company Andor Technology, the first of a university spin-out company in Northern Ireland, is "a breakthrough in the commercialisation of university research", Vice-Chancellor, Professor Peter Gregson, has said.

Andor Technology, based in west Belfast, floated on the London Stock Exchange's AIM on Friday morning with share prices beginning at 90p at 7am, but increasing to 125p by 9am.

Professor Gregson said that Andor's flotation, which has a multi-million pound market capitalisation value, reinforces the role of university research as the bedrock of future economic development.

"Andor is a leading exemplar of the transfer of university research into wealth and job creation,” the Vice Chancellor said. "In less than 15 years it has grown out of a researcher's invention to be a global operation with offices in the USA, Europe and Japan".

Earlier this week the company opened a new £6 million factory in Springvale Business Park, which will result in the company increasing its workforce from 110 to 170 by the end of 2006.

Formed in 1989 to exploit the commercial potential of research work in Queen's Department of Physics, Andor develops and manufactures scientific cameras used in optical spectroscopy applications such as the use of light to examine the physical properties of solid, liquid and gaseous substances.

The AIM is for small and growing companies and is considered a "halfway house" to a main stock market listing.

(MB/SP)

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