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Prior Scientific Instruments Ltd.

Prior Scientific Instruments Ltd.


CB21 5ET Cambridge
United Kingdom

For over 100 years, Prior Scientific has been manufacturing precision optical and electro-mechanical equipment and instrumentation. Prior is a leader in the development of precision motion, automation, and optical systems, sub-systems, and components. Key product lines include microscope automation equipment including high precision motorized microscope stages, automated slide and well plate loaders, Piezo nano-positioning systems, motorized filter wheels, high-speed shutters, laser autofocus systems, custom and OEM electro-mechanical and optical systems.


Product news

  • Prior Scientific celebrates 100 years

    W.R.Prior Co Ltd was founded in London, in 1919, by Walter Robert Prior and Andrew Physicks, as a manufacturer of microscopes. The Blitz in 1941 destroyed the factory building and the company moved to a new facility in Bishop Stortford in 1942. In 1981 Prior merged with James Swift & Sons, a leading polarizing microscope manufacturer. Prior relocated to its present home in Fulbourn, Cambridge in 1988. The company expanded its presence in the USA in 1991 with a facility in Rockland, Massachusetts which is now also a key manufacturing facility for the company. More recently, Prior acquired Queensgate Instruments, a leading nanotechnology equipment company based in Torquay, UK.

    In the last decade, the company has opened offices around the globe: Jena, Germany: Tokyo, Japan and Suzhou, China, to increase its global reach and better serve its partners and customers.


  • Queensgate Instruments complete move to EPIC

    Queensgate Instruments, the global leader for nanopositioning products and devices, are pleased to announce the move from their former site in Woodland Road, Torquay, to the new EPIC (Electronics and Photonics Innovation Centre) in Paignton.

    Queensgate Instruments (a brand of Prior Scientific) are one of the founding tenants at EPIC, securing 50% of the ground floor of the purpose built Electronics and Photonics Innovation Centre. This £8 million development project, invested in by Torbay Council, gives Queensgate Instruments and other technology companies an ideal development opportunity in the South West. EPIC focuses on supporting high potential companies and encourages foreign direct investment to Torbay and its microelectronics and photonics sector.

    “This move will enable us to operate from a modern facility and grow our Queensgate Instruments business. The Centre will provide us with the opportunity to work collaboratively with other technology companies and research institutions.” Tom Freda, CEO at Prior Scientific.

    Many of the world’s leading scientific instrumentation companies and research institutions are benefitting from Queensgate’s 40 years of experience and engineering excellence and this building will further develop their technology, range and customer base.