Westminster Hall debate regarding Photonics Industry

Carol Monaghan, MP for Glasgow North West, has successfully applied for a Westminster Hall debate on the UK Photonics Industry, to be held on Wednesday 25 Janurary 2017 @ 11am

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Opportunites in UK Datacentre Equipment

The Big UK Data Centre Equipment opportunity cover

The Big UK Data Equipment Opportunity report highlights UK capabilities and key players within this important growth area, with a focus specifically on the financial sector.

The past decade has seen a move from the physical trading floor to the anonymous data centre, populated with generic imported equipment. The next decade will see these systems optimised for the unique requirements of individual data centres. This presents a major opportunity for the UK to supply latency and security-optimised hardware to the local financial services industries and the many sectors handling sensitive data in the UK, from smart metering to healthcare and security.

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UK Photonics exports more of its output than any other UK manufacturing sector

Photonics export contribution relative to the rest of UK manufacturing

Photonics export contribution relative to the rest of UK manufacturing

New analysis from the PLG of UK photonics exports relative to other UK manufacturing sectors shows:-

  • UK Photonics exports 75-95% output relative to UK manufacturing average of only 34%
  • UK Photonics exports more of its output than any other UK manufacturing sector
  • UK Photonics exports are the 4th largest by value of any UK manufacturing sector, only automotive, aerospace and machinery exports are larger.

PLG welcomes the Duke of York as UK Patron of the 2015 International Year of Light

Thursday 17 July 2014

The Photonics Leadership Group (PLG) welcomes the announcement today that the Duke of York has agreed to become patron of the International Year of Light in the UK.

Dr Christopher Dorman chairman of the Photonics Leadership group said “The international year of light 2015 will be pivotal in raising awareness of the impact of photonics and in encouraging young people to pursue the many and varied careers available in light based technologies. We hope the Duke of York’s involvement will inspire more young people to get involved with photonics and encourage more light-based technical innovation in the UK”

UK photonics companies employ over 70,000 people in 1500 firms adding £10.5 billion to the economy, predominantly in exports. Light is often described as an enabling technology having far reaching impact from the lighting our homes, to the displays in our mobile devices, the fibre optics powering the internet, the cameras in satellites, the lasers manufacturing everything from cars to heart stents.

The UK has long been a leader photonics innovation. This knowledge is now embedded in globally leading research at institutes across the UK and leveraged into innumerable products manufactured in the UK by dedicated companies exporting throughout the globe.

For the future we need to raise awareness of how and where light is and can be used. We need to inspire more young people into science and technology, fostering a new generation of engineers, innovators and entrepreneurs who understand, apply use the full potential of light in all its forms. The PLG welcomes The International Year of Light, significantly boosted by the Duke of York’s involvement, to help encourage UK photonics to fulfil its full potential, continue to grow and lead further innovation.

About  Photonics

Photonics encompasses all of the technologies, products and processes around the emission, manipulation and detection of light. Photonics provides the key functionality in a vast range of products e.g. fibre optics powering the internet, lasers welding safer more efficient cars, to microscopes and instrumentation essential to modern healthcare. Photonics is a global market worth €300bn and is forecast to grow by 8-10% annually to €550bn by 2020.

For additional information on Photonics in the UK contact the Photonics Leadership Group

Alastair Wilson receives recognition from PLG

Alastair Wilson was presented with token of appreciation by the Photonics Leadership Group at its meeting on Monday 20 Jan. 2014 on behalf of the UK photonics industry to mark his forthcoming retirement after 40 years dedication to furthering the cause of Photonics in the UK.

Alastair has been Director of Photonics through all the iterations of the Knowledge Transfer Networks and for many years ran the Scottish Optoelectronics Assocaition, paving the way for photonics clusters across Europe.  Coupled with extensive industry experience Alastair has made a significant contribution to raising the profile of the industry and gaining support for Photonics  in the UK.

As befits someone with a lifetime career in photonics the award was 3D laser engraved in glass.

Alastair Wilson reitrement presentation

Alastair Wilson receiving presentation from Chris Dorman (Chair) and John Lincoln (CEO) of Photonics Leadership Group

Presentation on PLG from UK Photonics Research Showcase @ ECOC

Presentation introducing the Photonics Leadership Group given by John Lincoln at the UK Photonics Research Showcase at ECOC (European Conference on Optical Communications)  on 5 September 2013 available to download.

Photonics Leadership Group reformed to maximise growth of a £10.5bn UK industry with global impact.

The Photonics Leadership Group (PLG) today announced that it has been reformed with full backing from over 50 leading UK photonics manufacturers, associations and research institutes. At a meeting in London on 8 May 2013 the group confirmed over ~70,000 people are directly employed in UK photonics manufacturing in an industry worth £10.5 billion to the UK economy and continuing to grow at 8-10% annually, confirming 2010 figures from the Electronics Sensor Photonics Knowledge Transfer Network (ESP KTN).  The Gross Value Add (a measure of output) was reported as £49k per employee, 40% above the UK manufacturing industry average.
The PLG meeting voted Dr Christopher Dorman, of Coherent Scotland to act as Chairman and Dr John Lincoln of Harlin Ltd as Chief Executive for the group with the vision to lead the growth of the dynamic UK photonics industry. UK photonics manufacturers already export an estimated 75% of their output throughout the globe, and will continue to make a significant contribution to economic growth, through both the direct manufacture of photonics devices and by enabling photonics to be embedded in a wide range of end products.  Photonics is an enabling technology that will increasingly provide solutions to the challenges of modern society from healthcare, to advanced manufacturing, to security and communications.
Welcoming the Technology Strategy Board’s identification of Photonics as an enabling technology in November 2012, and acknowledging the significant investment of the Engineering and Physical Sciences research Council (EPSRC) in photonics over many years, the group aims to maximise growth of an industry that was described by Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission, as essential to keeping over 10% of the European economy competitive.
In addition to working with UK business, government and support agencies, the Photonics Leadership Group looks forward to working closely with Photonics21 and the new Public Private Partnership in Photonics being developed with the European Commission.  In particular, the group welcomes the recent multi-annual strategic roadmap from Photonics21, and will be further analysing this for specific opportunities for UK industry in close collaboration with ESP KTN.
About the Photonics Leadership Group:
 The Photonics Leadership Group aims to:-
  1. Increase the UK’s position from its current place as one of the top 5 photonics manufacturers and innovators globally.
  2. Enhance a strong and competitive photonics supply chain from basic components to high value integrated systems for applications from healthcare to defence and advanced manufacturing.
  3. Provide a clear voice for the UK photonics industry emphasising the value of photonics as an essential element in solutions to societal challenges and as a rapidly growing manufacturing industry driving significant economic growth.
  4. Maximise new photonics innovation and its commercialisation, strengthening UK industry to enhance exports and attract inward investment improving the competitiveness and growth of the UK economy.
  5. Foster continuous strategic dialogue between the photonics industry, government, academia and support agencies, in the UK and Europe, to create an efficient environment for innovation and translation into manufacturing.
Photonics encompasses all of the technologies, products and processes around the emission, manipulation and detection of light. Photonics provides the key functionality in a vast range of products e.g. fibre optics powering the internet, lasers welding safer more efficient cars, to microscopes and instrumentation essential to modern healthcare.  Photonics is a global market worth €300bn and is forecast to grow by 8-10% annually to €550bn by 2020.