Industry Strategy Feedback

The UK’s new industry strategy is now published.  Whilst, the 10 pillars of the strategy will support continued development of photonics, the vital role of enabling technologies, such as photonics, that provide the competitive edge in product performance, and manufacturing productivity needs to be fully recognised.  Less than 5% of the value of high technology goods, from mobile phones to airplanes, is in the final assembly (Economist 14/1/17). Most value is in the design, the critical components (often photonics e.g. camera, screen, sensors) and the manufacturing equipment (also often photonics e.g laser marking, cutting, machine vision).

Responses to the green paper give the opportunity  to refine the industrial strategy and make sure support for the  research, design, development and manufacture of the hidden technologies that enable a productive future is secure.  The UK is blessed with globally leading photonics research and a strong export driven industry.  But, as a global industry, photonics is sensitive to changes in international trade and care is needed to ensure we continue to develop and manufacture this enabling technology in the UK.

Online responses to the industrial strategy can be submitted at

Industry Strategy Photonics potential

The Photonics Leadership Group welcomes the publication of UK Industry Strategy and looks forward to developing a sector deal for photonics and light based technologies with UK government that addresses needs of both UK photonics industry and the huge range of firms enabled by photonics.

The priority given in the strategy to industries, such as photonics, that self-organise – as evidenced by the continued support for the PLG from multiple sectors and organisations distributed across the UK is further welcomed.  With shared challenges and opportunities already identified, and further strategies for lasers in manufacturing and roadmaps for photonics in active development, the PLG invites the government prioritize development of a sector deal in photonics.  Critical to keeping so many industries competitive from automotive to healthcare, vital for delivering productivity gains in manufacturing and already a major exporter a secotr deal for photonics would enhance the whole of the UK economy.

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Minutes available

Minutes of the PLG meeting on 11 January 2017 are now available to attendees and regular contributors

Please contact us if you would like to participate in the Photonics Leadership Group

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 in the news BBC News

BBC news: The many ways lasers help us see the world more clearly –

Photonics enabling Advanced Engineering

Advanced Engineering  is one of the biggest trade shows in the UK, with 700+ exhibiting companies and 13,000 attendees bringing together engineering decision-makers from OEM’s and top tier manufacturers across many sectors. The show features many manufacturers with a focus this year on Aerospace, Automotive, Performance Metals and Composites.

The KTN and are running a session on Photonics in Applied Engineering at the show to highlight how Photonics impacts many aspects of advanced engineering and offering brokerage opportunities, for more details and registration for 3rd Nov 2016

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Emerging and Enabling technologies competition

Only three briefings left for Innovate’s latest Emerging and Enabling technology competition

  • Cardiff on Thursday 20 October 2016,
  • Bristol on Wednesday 26 October 2016,
  • Glasgow on Wednesday 26 October 2016

Make sure you get the latest on this £15million competition targeting

  • any emerging technology that can demonstrate a step change in performance and the potential to disrupt existing industrial approaches; we are particularly looking to fund projects in energy harvesting, imaging technologies, graphene or biofilms
  • any enabling technology in: satellite applications; electronics; sensors; photonics; digital; internet of things; data; cybersecurity; virtual or augmented reality; and distributed ledger technology


Minutes fom PLG meeting

The minutes from the last PLG meeting on 7 September in Leeds are now available. Please contact the PLG if you would like a copy.

UK infrared and broadband imaging supply chain

Multiband Imaging exampleNew multiband imaging chips offer the potenital for lightweight simultaneious imaging from LWIR thermal range to the visible spectrum.  However, operational systems also need simultanous break throughs in optical matierals, coatings, electroincs, image processing and system design.  Advances in all of these are taking place in the UK, but lack of ‘visibility’, coordination and ‘focus’ will delay new products and reduce the opportunity.

We are therefore encouraging collaboration throughout the supply chain to accelerate the UK development and adoption of next generation IR & multiband imaging solutions.

There will be an initial meeting alongside SPIE Security+ Defence and Remote sensing in Edinburgh, on Wed 28 Sep. 13:30 – 15:00.  Please contact us if you wold like to attend or add you name at

You can also contribute remotely workspace at This on-line tool enables multiple inputs/viewpoints can be gathered without having to attend meetings in person. The process should be self-explanatory, please make your own additions, comments and highlights.  You will be asked to provide an email address when you first access the Groupmap, and can return to the map at any point to see contributions from others.  Our initial aim is to capture:-

  • What strengths and gaps do we have in the UK,
  • Who are the UK players developing and adopting innovation
  • Agree what are the key elements of IR imaging supply chain,
  • What potential actions to take to drive innovation and subsequent steps?

For further information you may also add yourself to the distribution list for this working group.

Supported by PLG, KTN, ChAMP  and open to input from all organisations.

Update to UK Photonics Industry figures


Map UK Photonics Companies

We will shortly begin the process of updating the figures for UK photonics output and employment, in collaboration with the KTN and the Future Photonics Hub.
UK Photonics
Future figures will be based on the list of companies making up the UK photonics map. Please check your organisation is on the map with the correct address, any updates please contact the PLG