Vision zooms in on stock market

The Edinburgh University company that has developed a "camera on a chip" is about to arrive on the Stock Exchange at a price which could reach Pounds 30 million.

Edinburgh's technology transfer company, UnivEd Technologies, originally put Pounds 50,000 backing into research into camera chip technology by Peter Denyer of Edinburgh's electrical engineering department.

Professor Denyer is now on secondment from the university as managing director of VVL, which makes its stock-market debut next month as Vision Group plc.

The university has about 6 per cent of the shares, valued at Pounds 2-3 million. Vision Group itself hopes to raise about Pounds 5 million development funding in the float.

The pioneering company, set up in 1990 and whose sales were some Pounds 800,000 in the six months to January 31, uses advanced electronic vision technology for a wide range of commercial applications.

Its cheap "camera-on-a-chip" is used in security equipment, video entryphones and a sub-miniature electronic camera which can be used with portable computers.

It has also developed a small programmable camera which can be used for production line inspection, traffic monitoring and remote surveillance. It is designed to supercede existing systems which are bulky, cost more and use more power.

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