SCPTime (France) and Teledyne e2v, two dynamic companies with strong industrial expertise in the field of Time/Frequency, win the funding competition “Innovation in Time Dissemination and Application”. This call was launched in April 2021 by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency as part of NTC* project led by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL). The first feasibility studies have started in December 2021 under the name PURETIME**.

After being selected by the European Commission as part of the Tender looking for alternative or complementary solution to Galileo for time synchronization solutions, SCPTime wins in partnership with its partner Teledyne e2v, based in Essex in the UK, the funding competition “Innovation in Time Dissemination and Application” and conducts the feasibility study in the UK.

A two-fold industrial expertise in the field of Time/Frequency of both partners integrates all the necessary elements to be successful. Mainly, SCPTime owns three international patents, its parent company GORGY TIMING has 45 years expertise in time servers designing and manufacturing, and the know-how in design of atomic micro-clocks of Teledyne is indisputable.

Both companies will work closely to develop a time dissemination solution for UK needs and will seek to deliver innovative solutions that support a robust, resilient Critical National Infrastructure and provide opportunities for new and emerging business opportunities. This feasibility study is to explore and demonstrate the feasibility of a UK time dissemination service that could underpin the vital services on which our modern society relies.  

Robust time dissemination is essential for our critical infrastructure that energy, transport, communications and financial transactions. It will also enable the emergence of a robust, reliable digital environment that will positively enhance quality of life.

“We are delighted to be working with SCPTime on this vital project and our joint skills and capabilities will make a difference that can really benefit our society” – Cliff WEATHERUP, Strategic Technology Manager, Teledyne e2v

National Timing Centre aims to address the challenge of fully traceable, secure, and certified dissemination of the high precision national timescale from NPL and to provide a UK sovereign solution for critical national infrastructure and on a wider scale for UK economy to support the security of our emerging digital society.

Indeed, a vast majority of critical infrastructure services, such as energy supply, safe transport links, mobile communications, data networks or electronic financial transactions rely on accurate and trustworthy time synchronization for effective functioning. Up to 90% of these systems use Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) as unique time signal reference.  However, GNSS signals are easily disrupted either accidentally or maliciously (spoofed by hackers), and in case of major GNSS unavailability, these critical services even stop functioning.  

The reliance on GNSS for precision timing, and the consequent vulnerability of our essential services prompted Innovate UK to commission a report published by London Economics in June 2017. It estimated the impact on the UK economy of a five-day GNSS outage at £5.2B.  That message is becoming widely understood and is creating a demand for timing solutions that are not GNSS dependent as a matter of sovereignty.

The innovative time dissemination solution arising from this project fulfils this need and will find widespread application in precision timing for base stations, network servers for financial services, data centers, national power distribution networks and air traffic control systems. It will maximize access and security of the data we use and exchange, enhance research and education and create new markets for time and frequency synchronization from electronic signature and certification in legal and commercial to leisure and entertainment. 

Further applications arise in areas where no GNSS signal is available and where synchronization or timestamping using a certified legal time source is required. This project will aim to demonstrate the feasibility of a secure, traceable certified system that derives directly from the National Timescale and benefits a range of critical capabilities in civil and military applications to bring security and economic gains for the UK.

“We are proud to be part of the National Timing Centre program (NTC) led by NPL in cooperation with Innovative UK. It is a great recognition of our know-how.

In the digital world, Time plays an essential role, both for cybersecurity and regulatory compliance. Nowadays, Time is a question of sovereignty, hence the importance to provide the solution to move away from reliance on GNSS and deliver resilient time and frequency solutions that provides confidence, especially to Critical National Infrastructures. Our technology makes it possible to combine security and accuracy in the dissemination of legal time through secured infrastructure, allowing full traceability of the time source to prevent interferences and cyber-attacks.

The feasibility studies that we will conduct with Teledyne opens great prospects for our business development. We are happy to work closely with Teledyne and we hope to build up synergies and develop a customized and innovative UK solution for time dissemination.” – Nicolas GORGY, CEO, SCPTime.

SCPTime is a subsidiary of GORGY TIMING, the worldwide well-known expert in Time/Frequency. SCPTime sets up an infrastructure and a service to broadcast the legal time (UTC) using a new time signal, Secure, Certified, Accurate and Traceable, to address current Time sources vulnerabilities, and to prevent serious consequences resulting from their corruptibility. These new requirements for using reliable and legal Time are becoming essential to authenticate transactions, and secure synchronization devices. 

By design, SCPTime® time distribution complies with ATTS certification of the French LNE (National Metrology Laboratory, accredited by ANSSI (National Agency for Information System Security).


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* NTC (National Timing Center)

** Providing UTC with Resilience and Endurance