Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YOGAZ to 80360 or send an email»
Collaboration sparks high-tech innovation at Pickering firm
SOFTWARE developed by scientists at Oxford University has increased the production rate for antennae products at Pickering-based MM Microwave.
Earlier this year, MM Microwave signed a licence agreement with Isis Innovation Ltd, the technology transfer arm of Oxford University, which has led to a 25 per cent reduction in development time.
High-performance receivers, such as those used in radio-telescopes or satellite communication systems, employ electromagnetic horns to focus the signal onto the detector system.
The automated software package developed by Prof Ghassan Yassin and his team at Oxford’s Department of Physics, enables the design of high-performance smooth-walled feed horns.
John McGreevy, managing director of MM Microwave, said the collaboration was the first step in a long-term strategy for the company.
“For a high-tech firm like ours it is important to keep innovating to stay ahead. Instead of trying to do all that innovation in-house, we decided that part of our strategy for the future was to look at universities where lots of technology is developed,” he said.
“One of the first candidates was this technology coming out of Oxford. We immediately realised the commercial potential of the software. The straightforward and professional way in which Isis worked made it easy for us to evaluate and incorporate the technology into our business.”
The licensing agreement has led to stronger ties between the company and Oxford with MM Microwave now in talks that involve secondments and future collaborations.
He said: “Our strategy of interacting with external innovators is also starting to pay off by inspiring innovation within the company.
“We have also gained from the exposure to members of the University who may have the skills and interest in our field.
“This might be an alternative to the more traditional ways of recruiting staff.”