New UK Innovation Strategy highlights photonics


The UK Innovation Strategy identifies Photonics with electronics and quantum as one of 7 technology families of UK strength and opportunity. The strategy highlights that these 7 transformative technology families will be the focus of future government support based on their globally competitive R&D and industrial strength.

The countries that secure leadership in such transformational technologies will lead the world, enjoying unrivalled growth, security and prosperity for decades to come – and it’s our job to ensure the UK keeps pace with the global innovation race” – Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng

Citing the £14.5 billion contribution photonics makes to the UK economy from the PLG’s latest analysis, the strategy highlights how supporting transformative deep tech in the UK can drive ‘exponential change’ and ‘sustained strategic advantage’.  

The strategy recognises the key role photonics and the other transformative technologies play in addressing society challenges- ‘we must back the emerging technologies that can make fundamental contributions to those missions and will shape our lives in the decades ahead’

“For those working in photonics, the enabling nature of using and working with light has been always been clear – it is what makes the field so compelling. It is fantastic to see this now recognised in the Innovation Strategy alongside the importance of backing such transformative technologies to benefit society and all vertical markets and challanges.” – John Lincoln, Chief Executive Photonics Leadership Group.

The PLG, UK photonics industry and research communities look forward to working with government, Innovate UK and UKRI to operationalise and deliver this strategy.

Smart Nano NI

The launch of the Innovation strategy coincides the award of £42.4 million to Smart Nano NI.  The largest of 5 projects to receive the latest Strength in Places funding, Smart Nano NI has a strong photonics focus bringing together expertise across Northern Ireland from Seagate Technology, Analytics Engines, Causeway Sensors, Cirdan Imaging, Digital Catapult NI, North West Regional College, Queen’s University Belfast, Ulster University and Yelo. Smart Nano NI will accelerate the work of developing transformative advanced prototyping and smart manufacturing methods. 

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