The Welsh Development Agency has unveiled plans for a national facility in St. Asaph, UK, that will foster optoelectronics industry growth. The 82,000-square-foot optronics technology and incubation center, OpTic Technium, will provide support units for 24 companies, and will have a state-of-the-art cleanroom and conference and training facilities where academic and industry professionals can share expertise and collaborate to develop techniques and products. According to Ian Maxwell, the agency's optoelectronics sector manager, "The idea is to establish sectoral and general communities that enable high-tech, high-growth companies to graduate from the incubator in a reasonable time frame, making room for new arrivals."The $21 million project, funded by the agency along with the Welsh Opto-electronics Forum, the European Union and the private sector, is expected to be completed by the year's end. It will support enterprises in accessing venture capital, obtaining patents, marketing, and finding and training qualified personnel. It will also provide broadband fiber optic linkage to commercial and university networks. "Now is a good time to be engaged in this sort of enterprise," Maxwell said, "so companies will be well-situated to be part of the anticipated upswing."