One of Bristol’s leading high tech companies has been awarded £1 million from the West of England’s Growth Fund to accelerate development and marketing of its gigabit wireless technology.
Blu Wireless Technology (BWT) is a silicon intellectual property (IP) company developing low cost, gigabit wireless communications technology. The initial markets for BWT’s technology include the emerging 60GHz ‘WiGig’ addition to the WiFi family, which will enable large video files to be transferred onto mobile phones at up to 7Gbps – 20 times faster than existing WiFi; as well as the creation of high-speed wireless links for the latest 4G mobile networks based around small cells. These low cost small cells will be mounted on street furniture such as signs and street lamps. BWT is already starting work on applying their uniquely flexible technology to the emerging 5G telecommunications standard.
Based in Bristol due to the world-beating expertise in wireless communications and semiconductor design in the area, the company has grown from a team of 7 at the beginning of 2013 to 17 and anticipates that by the end of 2014 it will have around 30 staff. BWT is based in the Engine Shed in Bristol, alongside a growing cluster of high tech and digital businesses.
Henry Nurser, BWT’s CEO, said: “This grant from West of England Growth Fund, combined with the almost £2.4M we have raised from private investors over the last year, will allow us to complete the development of our prototype design by the end of 2014. BWT already has a strong working relationship with the University of Bristol and these funds will ensure that these links are further strengthened. All feedback on our technology from the multiple international companies we have been in discussion with has shown us that we have an opportunity to become leaders in these exciting new markets. We are confident that customers will buy our Bristol designed technology as soon as it’s commercially available.”
Paul Wilson, chief executive of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “This is the single largest amount we’ve awarded from the £25 million pot and it’s exactly the type of project we want to support. Through this fund we have already injected around £14m into the local economy, which has attracted more than £41 million private sector investment, creating or safeguarding over 1,500 jobs. High tech is a significant area of growth for us – we already compete internationally and our region is nurturing a future generation of high tech businesses.”
Blu Wireless is one of a number of high tech businesses to have been awarded funding from the West of England Growth fund, led by the West of England LEP.