The publication of the UK Research and Development Roadmap by government is welcomed by the Photonics Leadership Group.
The Roadmap identifies the importance of “investing in priority cross-cutting technologies… to support our security and prosperity”. The PLG calls for photonics to be recognised as just such a technology, contributing as it does to the “resilience, efficiency and effectiveness” of solutions to communications, productivity, manufacturing diagnosis and security.
In synchronisation with the roadmap’s call for embedding “horizon scanning to identify early and prepare to exploit our emerging strengths”, the PLG’s will shortly publish its report on the Future Horizons for Photonics Research. This outlines an ambitious future for photonics research, built on UK strengths that will positively impact the challenges faced by society, support for which will help the UK build back stronger from Covid-19. The resilience of our industry has been illustrated by 90% of photonics manufacturers safely manufacturing and exporting through the pandemic, with many now rapidly returning to growth. Covid-19 has also highlighted the contribution of photonics to rapid diagnostics, track and trace and the core fibre optic network that has keep everyone connected.