i.e. full fibre networks
Starting & growing enterprise
Prosperity across UK
The industrial strategy: building a Britain for the future outlines 5 foundations for UK growth down from the 10 pillars in the original green paper. The strategy further outlines the overall grand challenges / global trends which government sees as presenting significant opportunity for UK industry to take lead on innovation. These will attract £725million in support from the industrial strategy challenge fund:-
Artificial intelligence and the data economy – which requires breakthroughs in optical communications to deliver more data (capacity) in real-time (latency).
Clean Growth – which needs next generation photovoltaic technologies and LED lighting that can be seamlessly integrated into buildings and the wider adoption of highly efficient laser cutting marking and welding in manufacturing.
Future of Mobility – where dependable autonomous vehicles will need fail save camera and laser sensors to work in all weathers, in all locations, at all times of day that can be built seamlessly into vehicles at low-cost and huge volume.
Ageing population – where photonics is critical for non-intrusive predictive pre-clinical diagnosis enabling efficient healthcare delivery in the community.
These challenges closely align with the grand photonics challenges previously published by the Photonics leadership following extensive industry consultation.
To support UK addressing these challenges the industry strategy outlines sector deals for four areas where innovation has a significant role.
- Life-science industry – where photonics based equipment is used extensively in drug development and increasingly critical for in-line process control in drug production
- Artificial intelligence – only possible with optically interconnected computers and fibre optic networks
- Automotive – where laser welding makes cars safer, stronger, lighter and more efficient and where optical sensors are the front line in enabling autonomous vehicle.
- Construction – where lasers keep construction on the straight and level and where large area 3d imaging is vital for ensuring remotely fabricated buildings fit seamlessly together on-site.
- A further deals with Creative industries, the Nuclear industry and on Industrial digitisation are expected shortly.
The PLG will be further analysing the industry strategy for areas where photonics can have greatest impact and working with the various end sectors to accelerate the leverage of UK photonics to increase productivity.
The vital role of photonics is illustrated by the use of light a key theme running throughout BEIS industry strategy video.