MICROSTENCIL, the West Lothian-based supplier of microelectronics packaging, has secured second-round funding worth GBP500,000 from a consortium of investment including Braveheart and the Scottish Co-investment Fund The Livingston company, which was spun-out from Heriot Watt University, also announced yesterday that it had signed an exclusive distribution agreement forAsia and North America with DEK, a market-leading provider of equipment and processes for the high accuracy massimaging of electronic materials.

Since receiving its first round offunding - worth around of GBP600,000 - from Braveheart in May 2005, Microstencil has set up its manufacturing base in Livingston.

The firm, which also manufactures stencils used to create the ultra fine electrical and mechanical connections for microelectronics devices, said that money from the second round will be used to increase production capacity for the DEK contract.

MicroStencil said its market was being driven by increasing demand for lighterweight and compact portable devices such as mobile phones, digital cameras, MP3 players and laptops.

The company developed a patented enhanced electroforming process, enabling it to manufacture these stencils with small aperture pitch and size of an outstanding quality.

Chief executive Gwyn Pugh said: "This new funding from our original investors demonstrates their confidence in what we have achieved to date and in our future success. The investment will enable us to increase our production capability, a vital step forward for our ambitions for the business.

"We are also delighted to announce the signing of a distribution deal with global market leader, DEK International. DEK's extensive sales and support infrastructure will provide us with the ideal platform to successfully introduce our products to the high volume customers who dominate the Asia-Pacific region, crucial to the success of our business."