PLG Achievements

The Photonics Leadership Group undertakes a continuous process of ‘nudge’ and feedback aiming to create mutually beneficial, self-reinforcing and aligned strategic directions between industry, academic, government and support agencies. By ensuring motivations, insights and interventions are mutually understood and closing feedback loops industry can position itself in the fast-stream, swimming with the currents of policy, innovation and user trends.

The following captures the recent* activities and achievements of the Photonics Leadership Group untaken on behalf of the UK photonics community. (*Based on October-October year)

2020

  • Notification of the introduction to Parliament of the national security investment bill and consultation on mandatory notification sectors.
  • Autumn survey of the status of Covid-19 recovery in photonics and future outlook for both industry and research
  • Support for parliamentary question to BEIS on support for technology and photonics industry.
  • Input into the Foreign Affairs select Committee inquiry into the role of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in providing guidance on UK Government decisions on intervening in foreign takeovers
  • Facilitation of industrial sessions at Photonex 2020 covering the developing innovation ecosystem, industry status and post Covid-19 opportunities.
  • Presentation of the key findings of Future Horizons for Photonics Research 2030 and beyond horizon scanning exercise at Photonex and SPIE’s Security and Defence, Remote Sensing, Space, Satellites + Sustainability (S3) digital forum.
  • Production, release and promotion of report on the Future Horizons for Photonics Research 2030 and beyond, published in conjunction with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Photonics and Quantum
  • Spring survey of the status of Covid-19 recovery in photonics and future outlook for both industry and research
  • Presentation to the SPIE Industry and policy update series on the response of the UK to Covid-19 and recent UK policy developments with impact on photonics
  • Submission to government consultation on the UK’s ‘Research and Development Roadmap
  • Development of a national photonic contact list.
  • Input to BEIS consultation ‘UK quantum technologies international engagement plan’.
  • Submission to and call to community to submit responses to the Science and Technology Select Committee enquiry on “UK telecommunications infrastructure and the UK’s domestic capability”
  • Letter to Universities Vice-Chancellors supporting re-opening of research facilities as a priority (submitted on request).
  • Rapid submission to the Business Secretary’s Economic Recovery roundtables considering measures to support economic recovery from Covid-19
  • Survey and summary on the impact of coronavirus measures on UK Photonics industry
  • Government and Trade press responses on the impact of coronavirus on UK photonics
  • Updates and direct links to the latest coronavirus business support measures
  • Dissemination of fast track Innovate and DASA competition for coronavirus mitigation innovations
  • Input into process for developing National Strategy for Secure Quantum Communications
  • Leading of Horizon scanning workshop and project to develop a common vision for the future of photonics research in the UK
  • Summary of 2020 Spring Budget measures relevant to photonics
  • Submission to the Government consultation on UK Global Tariffs
  • Survey of UK photonics to gather aggregate evidence of export, investment and growth enablers.
  • Parliamentary Question to Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on steps being taken to support the development of photonics SMEs
  • Support the Photonics APPG AGM and post election reconstitution.
  • Participation in the Electech Community Meeting with input on focus of the Electech council under Techworks
  • Participation in Quantum Computing Road-mapping workshop
  • Input on SPIE photonic technician career videos to increase international / UK relevance
  • Interview for Optics and Photonics News on the impact of the UK 2019 election on the industry
  • Map of UK parliamentary constituencies containing photonics employers
  • Identification of outline priorities for physics investment
  • Meeting with Confederation of British Industry (CBI) on training needs and appropriateness of current apprenticeships program to photonics.
  • Identification of significant updates to 2016/17 draft Photonics sector position to align with developments in industrial strategy challenge fund and sector requirement in supporting scale up.
  • Discussion of developments in sectors deals with BEIS
  • Provision of key statistics on photonics in Scotland to Scottish Government. Participation in the Quantum Technology Leadership Group December 2019meeting
  • Identification and updating of the key global challenges and the current and future role of photonics in addressing them. (Presentation available to stakeholders)
  • Presentation Global Photonics Challenges @ Photonics@SG conference in Singapore Nov. 2019
  • Participation in the Institute of Physics Annual Award ceremony and promotion of applications to the IOP 2020 awards

2019

  • Analysis of the age profile and median age of UK photonics companies
  • Submission to the Innovate_Uk,/ Knowldge Transfer network survey on “What’s discovery science done for you?
  • Delivered a showcase of UK Photonics at Westminster in support of the All-Party Parliamentary group on Photonics
  • Released monthly updates on UK photonics highlighting regional output, UK photonics growth rate, GVA/employee by region, photonics company size profile relative to UK manufacturing.
  • Presented overview of UK Photonics at UK Semiconductors, Sheffield
  • Released update size of the UK photonics industry including, photonics employment and gross value added to the economy by photonics and GVA per photonics employees
  • Undertaken a full review of the size of the UK photonics industry including regional and company size analysis
  • Liaison with Emerging technologies team at department of Business Innovation and Skills
  • Supported set-up of the Quantum Leadership Group
  • Dinner with Executive Chair of Innovate_UK
  • Tour of Thales UK manufacturing facility in Glasgow.
  • Notice of new Open General Export Licence requirements in event of ‘no-deal’ Brexit
  • Appointed New Vice-Chair and Treasurer
  • Held PLG meetings in Coventry, Glasgow and London
  • Supported finalisation of the ElecTech roadmap for the UK
  • Input to the Compound Semiconductor Catapult priority areas
  • Submitted response to the Smith review on Future Frameworks for funding International Research and Development
  • Provided evidence to aid the UK supporting continuation of the European Photonics Public Private Partnership (Photonics21) in Horizon Europe
  • Provided support for the inclusion of photonics innovation in a new national digital infrastructure future network initiative
  • Liaison with Electronics and Machinery team at department of Business Innovation and Skills
  • Jointly led the inaugural meeting of ‘Global Photonics Markets Workshop’ with SPIE exchanging best practice on the sizing of regional/national photonics industries.
  • Dissemination of funding opportunities and competitions
  • Generated and hosted online calendar of UK Photonics events, providing automated archive of UK photonics meetings
  • Encouraging participation in Photonics21 and participation in Board-of-Stake-holder elections. Dissemination of P21 activities.
  • Support of the All Party Parliamentary Group in Photonics through meetings and discussion with MP’s.
  • Renewal of the PLG website and Blog. 25 Blog posts with pertinent news items to September 2019, with peak of 1500 views/month.

In 2019 Dr Chris Dorman, Chair of the Photonics Leadership Group, was awarded an OBE for services to laser and photonic technology and to exports.

2018

  • Published ‘UK Photonics: the Hidden Economy’ report detailing methodology by which the UK photonics industry is quantified and providing comparison to other UK manufacturing industries (i collaboration with The Future Photonics Hub and KTN)
  • Supported development of ElecTech roadmap for the UK
  • Submitted proposal for enquiry on ‘building sustainable UK differentiation with enabling technology’ to the Parliamentary Science and Technology Committee.
  • Distributed draft statement of policy intent on National Security and Investment Legislation for industry and photonics community comment and awareness.
  • Written evidence submission to the Parliamentary Science and Technology Select committee enquiry on ‘Balance and Effectiveness of Research and Innovation spending’
  • Written evidence submission to the Parliamentary Science and Technology Select committee enquiry on ‘Quantum technology’ detailing the 2018 National Security and Infrastructure amendment to the Enterprise act.
  • Liaison with Emerging technologies, Electronics and Machinery and Science and Innovation and European Partnerships teams at department of Business Innovation and Skills
  • Written submission and extended input to the National Security and Infrastructure Investment Review: Short-term Reforms government consultation.
  • Supported four photonics focused submissions to the Industry Strategy Challenge Fund, round 3 call.
  • Led submission of the ‘Eyes of the Autonomous Future’ submission following coordination with AESIN and CENSIS with 40 expressions of support
  • Debriefed PLG on the ISCF round 3 and optimal future interaction points for photonics
  • Dissemination of funding opportunities and comments
  • Encouraging participation in Photonics21 and participation in Board-of-Stake-holder elections. Dissemination of P21 activities.
  • Held PLG meetings in Coventry and London (x2), including joint meeting with Sensors and Instrumentation Leadership Committee (SILC)
  • Laser for Productivity: A UK Strategy. Dissemination of report developed by AILU and EPSRC centre for Innovative manufacturing in laser-based production processes.
  • Support of the All Party Parliamentary Group in Photonics through meetings and discussion with MP’s.
  • Dissemination of input opportunities re government consultations on intellectual property, business productivity, Aluminium imports, capital financing in innovative firms and T-levels.

2017

  • Analysis of the UK industry strategy white paper -implications and opportunities for UK Photonics
  • Dissemination of funding opportunities and competitions
  • Delivered a showcase of UK Photonics at Westminster in support of the All-Party Parliamentary group on Photonics .
  • Released update size of the UK photonics industry including, photonics employment and gross value added to the economy by photonics and GVA per photonics employees
  • Analysis of the size of the UK photonics industry and with clear methodology accounting for the contribution of diversified large organisations
  • Encouraging participation in Photonics21 and participation in Board-of-Stake-holder elections. Dissemination of P21 activities.
  • Collation and dissemination of working group discussion at P21 annual meetings
  • Support of the All Party Parliamentary Group in Photonics
  • UK-China Trade Review Priority submission on photonics sector issues in relation to trade with China.
  • Suggestions for companies to visit / include in Department of International trade organised missions to UK.