Software and app developers in the west of Scotland will for the first time be able to use a free testing laboratory with the opening of an open access test facility at Edge Testing Solutions’ Bellshill headquarters on Thursday.

The new Open Device Lab, which will be officially opened by Scottish business minister Fergus Ewing, will be Scotland’s second Open Device Lab, following the opening of a lab in Edinburgh

The Open Device Labs movement is a worldwide grass roots community project similar in ethos to the open software movement. The aim of the labs are to establish shared community pools of internet connected devices for testing by web and app developers.

Edge Testing Solutions chief executive Brian Ferrie said he hoped that the new laboratory would support the growth of the digital and tech community in the Glasgow area and the west of Scotland by allowing digital entrepreneurs to test whether their software works across multiple devices.

“As digital technologies become increasingly part of everyone’s lives the need to ensure each new piece of technology and software is fit for use and fit for purpose is paramount,” he said.

“The Open Device Lab will provide commercial organisations with a cost effective test laboratory environment whilst not for profit, start-ups and educational institutions can utilise the service for free.”

Edge Testing's contribution to the new lab is the provision of the room in which it will be housed. The equipment that will be used is already owned by the company.

£6.6 million turnover Edge Testing was founded in 2007 by Ferrie and Susan Chadwick and now employs 80 full-time employees as well as 60 sub-contractors. Forty jobs were created by the high growth company in the last two years.

The company’s main business is finding bugs in software prior to launch. The company helps companies to test their own software as well as testing software on behalf of companies.

In 2012 the company – which lists Heineken, JP Morgan, Baillie Gifford, Flybe, Sky Sports, Ignis Asset Management, Historic Scotland and Martin Currie among its clients – opened an office in Birmingham and, in 2014, an office in London.

Recently Edge Testing has been expanding into new sectors such as video games, gaming and the Internet of Things.

In 2012 the company was awarded a Regional Selective Assistance grant of £180,000 by Scottish Enterprise towards the creation of 18.5 jobs.