Case Study



Glasgow Caledonian University


Engineering and Technology



Emtelle is the global leader in ducted network solutions and air blown fibre solutions. It produces small, lightweight and robust underground cabling systems, pioneering the next generation of broadband network solutions for FttH (Fibre-To-The-Home)

Recent communications contracts have included cabling the communications infrastructure to 7600 homes in Nuenen, in The Netherlands and for the Olympic Village in Athens in 2004.

The Business Challenge

A particular problem of underground cable management is the presence of water and moisture in the tubing which houses the fibre optic cables and Emtelle’s R&D team in Hawick has been looking to develop the next generation of polyethylene tubing with a greatly reduced water permeability rate. To do this, Emtelle required a recognised specialist working in the area of semi-permeable membrane technology.

“One of my colleagues had been sent a leaflet about Interface and the benefits for us were immediately apparent. We required a specific expertise and, based on our criteria, we contacted Interface who put us in touch with the School of Engineering at Glasgow Caledonian University,

Interface was the ideal catalyst in helping bring both parties together. Having previously worked with Heriot-Watt and Napier Universities on knowledge transfer partnership projects, we were aware that the external expertise we required probably existed within academia, but crucially, needed to find ways of uncovering the correct academic partner for this very distinct engineering project.” commented Phil Clayton, technical manager of Emtelle

The Solution

Interface identified that this area of expertise was available through The Glasgow Caledonian University’s School of Engineering and more specifically the Centre for Research on Indoor Climate and Health.

The centre’s Chris Sanders takes up the story.

“The contact that Interface made for us with Emtelle led to an interesting series of discussions and allowed us to develop a relationship with a new industry sector This enabled us to bring our expertise on moisture transport into a novel field.  Interface plays a very valuable role in establishing contacts between specialised University groups and industrial organisations working in areas outside their usual field.”

A short-term consultancy project was agreed, enabling Emtelle to begin developing a superior product with ultra low water permeation rates. In short, Interface gave Emtelle access to knowledge outside the core expertise of its business that helped it onto the next stage of our product development cycle.

Phil Clayton added, “I believe that Interface is the perfect ‘trouble-shooter’. I would urge more companies and businesses to look closely at Interface to help cement the bond between academic talent and companies looking to further their product development. It really is a great opportunity to have Interface at your disposal.

The relationship made between universities and organisations have an important role to play particularly where complex problems and issues have to be resolved.”

Click here for more information on Emtelle.