Cambridge-based Synoptics makes scientific instruments that analyse the images of DNA, bacteria and potentially lethal viruses. Founded by Philip Atkin in 1985 to commercialise his research at Cambridge University, Synoptics has gradually changed strategy, moving from a technology supplier to a designer and manufacturer of complete instrument solutions. Sales to a wide range of customers, from Nestlé to Vauxhall and the FBI, have grown 67% a year from £2.2m in 1999 to £6.1m in 2001.
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