BATH, England, March 19 -- BlazePhotonics, a producer of photonic crystal fiber, announced it has secured $9 million in first-round funding. Celtic House Investment Partners led the round, which also included Quester Capital Management. BlazePhotonics, a spin-out from the University of Bath in England, was established to exploit the commercial possibilities offered by photonic crystal fiber (also known as microstructured or holey fiber), which was invented by members of the University's Optoelectronics Group led by Philip Russell. The company will use the funding to establish a custom built facility and grow its R&D and operational teams. The operations will remain close to Bath and will maintain close links with the University of Bath and its center of excellence in optoelectronics. As part of the deal, the University will be a significant shareholder and will vest all of its existing and future intellectual property arising from research in photonic crystals fibers in BlazePhotonics. Photonic Crystal Fibers are single-material all-silica optical fibres. Instead of the conventional core-cladding structure, light is trapped in the core by means of an array of tiny air holes running along the whole length of the fiber. Their unconventional structure rewrites the rulebook on what fibers can do. The key industry for BlazePhotonic's high-performance fibers is telecommunications, although many smaller markets, such as manufacturing, medicine and metrology, exist. "Our fibres are going places," said professor Russell. "Their dramatic properties give them the potential to out-perform and replace conventional fibers in a variety of applications. I am delighted that we now have the backing to build BlazePhotonics as a successful company and to deliver products of real commercial value."