A TECHNOLOGY firm spun out of Strathclyde University has received £370,000 in its first round of funding as it attempts to break into the renewable energy and subsea markets.

Synaptec develops fibre optic technology that reduces the downtime and operating costs of electrical power networks through improved monitoring.

It has received investment from the Equity Gap business angel syndicate, which includes former SSE chief executive Ian Marchant; Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise; and the University of Strathclyde.

Synaptec already works with clients including SSE and Scottish Power and said the funding will help ramp up operations and broaden the scope of the business. A new engineer and sales manager will be hired to focus on the opportunities within markets including subsea development and renewable energy.

Philip Orr, managing director and one of the founders of Synaptec, said: “Monitoring, protection and control of power networks is becoming more important than ever thanks to increased global electricity demand and the simultaneous move to greater penetration of distributed renewable energy sources.”

Mr Orr said the company’s technology provides multiple benefits to network operators and consumers including cost reductions, enhanced security of energy supply, and reduced emissions.

“Our technology and approach has the potential to deliver similar performance improvements for other markets including renewables and subsea systems. The investment from Equity Gap, the Scottish Investment Bank and the University will help us to capitalise on these opportunities.”

Equity Gap’s involvement will also give the team at Synaptec valuable access to the advice and experience of people including Mr Marchant; Nigel Ellis, renewables consultant and former technology development director of SSE; and Jos Trehern, co-founder and former chief executive of Psymetrix, which is now part of General Electric.

As well as working with commercial clients, Synaptec is also involved in a number of research projects with institutions including the European Marine Energy Centre on Orkney.