DataLase Team

History of DataLase


DataLase Ltd, is a leading global Photonic Printing solutions company. Headquartered in the UK, DataLase delivers revolutionary pigments and coatings – inkless printing solutions for products and packaging based on its patented laser-reactive colour change technology.


The innovator of ‘Photonic Printing’ in its original form – laser-reactive colour change pigment technology – was Sherwood Technology, a business that initially began trading in the late 1980’s from offices on the Nottingham Science & Technology Park, located opposite the University of Nottingham’s campus – the company called its colour change technology ‘DataLase’.


In 2006, having successfully generated a series of patents around laser-reactive colour change pigment technology, Sherwood Technology changed its name to DataLase, the move reflecting increased development of their portfolio of packaging and product identification applications. Interest in DataLase’s laser-based printing solutions grew, with further impetus being created via private investment. At the same time, the DataLase team had been investigating new laser hardware technology that could deliver much higher colour-change speeds to open up new market opportunities.

In the interim, digital printing was a rapidly growing industry and was seen as a way to address supply chain challenges of waste, whilst at the same time delivering mass-customisation and personalisation of packaging. The vast majority of digital printing solutions were all inkjet based, and were reserved for installation at the traditional printer/converter aspect of the supply chain.


The interest towards DataLase’s solutions culminated with SATO, the leading Japanese Auto-ID and tagging company, to fully acquire DataLase at the start of 2017. The acquisition by SATO helped fuel a significant increase in R&D activity, leading to innovative solutions that combined hardware and coatings, optimised to work together to deliver unique solutions based around the core of DataLase technology, laser-reactive colour change pigments.

MBO, A new era

In September of 2020 SATO agreed to a MBO with 3 of the DataLase Directors. The MBO began a new era for the company, allowing its leadership team to push forward with increased technological advancement, new product commercialisation and further development of its highly innovative Photonic Printing offering.

Following completion of the MBO, a refresh of the DataLase corporate identity was released, which included the strapline ‘Connected Photonic Solutions’ – a cue for some exciting new developments on the horizon.

Highlights in 2020/21 have included:

  • Development of a functional masterbatch additive for plastics integration
  • Expansion of their high humidity coatings range
  • A partnership with the Australian-based Result Group, to further expand its global reach
  • Development of a range of diversity water based coating solutions resulting in approval for Swiss Ordinance compliance (Swiss Listing)
  • The release of a UV offset (UVO) litho metal decoration coating designed for use on offset litho presses equipped with UV curing units
  • Development of a new antibacterial coating to help to reduce bacterial transmission on printed packaging surfaces
  • Expansion of its coatings and substrate application, through the launch of a new coating for laminates called SB Lamination Coatings

DataLase leadership team

Ally Grant

Chief Technology Officer

Clare Lewis

Chief Executive Officer

Paul Dustain

Chief Sales & Marketing Officer