UK photonics industry leaders met Members of the Parliament and peers on 20 April to highlight the importance of the sector and call for action to maximise its strengths. The meeting entitled The Light Industry: a UK success story was held at the House of Commons and organised by the all-party Parliamentary and Scientific Committee on behalf of the UK committee for the International Year of Light. It was further supported by the IOP, the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), the Photonics Leadership Group and The Future Photonics Hub.
While emphasizing that the sector contributes £10.5 bn a year to the economy and directly employs more than 70,000 people, industry representatives were interested in measures that would enable the photonics industry to grow even more and to foster take-up of innovations in photonics. In the light of the recent announcement that the research councils and Innovate UK will be integrated into a new Research UK umbrella body, industry representatives particularly wanted to see more industry insights brought into research council decisions and more awareness within Innovate UK of opportunities opened up by research. They further would welcome clarity about how Innovate UK’s new funding mechanisms can support investment at a later stage in development of innovations and in a wider range of companies.
Around 50 people participated at the event which provided opportunities for networking and talks by Photonics21 Board of Stakeholder representative Anke Lohman, head of photonics and quantum technologies at the KTN, Photonics21 Board of Stakeholder representative Chris Dorman, vice-president and general manager of Coherent Scotland, and Nick Martin, innovation and growth leader at BAE Systems.
For further details please go to the IOP website.