Xaar has leased a third facility on the world-renowned Cambridge Science Park to increase R&D floor space by 50% to 48,000 square feet. The expansion supports the company's considerable investment in R&D, which has seen its R&D headcount grow by 60% this year to 130 employees.
The opportunity to boost its R&D team and facilities follows Xaar's outstanding financial performance over the last few years. The growth in sales and profits has been achieved through the adoption of Xaar's innovative technology and printheads for a number of applications, led by ceramic tile printing. Sales grew by 78% in the first half of the year versus the same period in 2012 and profits were up 231%.
In recognition of the strength of the company's financial performance Xaar received the “Technology Growth Business of the Year” award at the recent UK Tech Awards and was named “Best Main Market Company” at the recent Shares Magazine Awards.
In addition to the growth in R&D staff, the team has been re-structured into two divisions to accelerate product development and maximise effectiveness. The Bulk Piezo Technology Division focusses on developing new products and product variants based on Xaar's current successful technology; the Thin Film Piezo Technology Division is focussing on next-generation technology and products which will enable Xaar to target a wider range of applications. The first Thin Film Piezo product is due in 2016.
"I am delighted that we have been able to continue to grow our investment in R&D to support Xaar's future over the longer term," said Ramon Borrell, R&D director. "We have an enormous opportunity ahead of us to disrupt large and well-established markets with innovative technology which is transforming a number of sectors."
As Cambridge's 13th billion dollar company, Xaar has a major impact on the region in terms of investment and employment. The company's strong commitment to Cambridgeshire and the local community has led to a £1 million investment in a bond to support the new Future Business Centre which opened recently. The Future Business Centre provides an affordable workspace with support and shared services to new social and environmental enterprises. Its aim is to harness the Cambridge flair for innovation to make a positive change locally and globally.
"We are delighted to support the Future Business Centre,” said Alex Bevis, finance director. “We have grown our headcount significantly in the last few years, with almost 700 people now employed in Cambridge and Huntingdon. We hope that our investment in the Future Business Centre will help businesses to grow, creating even more jobs in Cambridgeshire."