AOT was set up in 1999 to be an innovator in the laser field. This has been widely recognised and in the short intervening period the company has attracted strong support to accelerate the development and implementation of it's novel technology. The company has benefited from two funding awards under SMART which backs innovation in small and medium sized companies, and support under BRITECH which helps UK technology companies in partnership with similar hi-tech Israeli organisations. Most recently, the company has joined an OSDA (Optical Sciences for Digital Age) LINK programme developing a new and innovative UV sensor instrument (see public press release for details). In 2002 the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 awarded one of the company's staff a prestigious Industrial Fellowship. This is a rare award (with only a few granted each year), and facilitates the holder pursuing specialist R&D for the tenure of the award.