UK Photonics Cluster Launches Unique Collaboration Programme For R&D Companies

Funding, skills and technical support are main pillars of initiative unveiled at euroLED 2008

Birmingham, (PresseBox) - The UK Photonics Cluster has launched a unique initiative to support the development and success of research and development companies - the Collaborative Partner Programme (CPP).

The Cluster - which, since its own launch in 2000, has developed links to more than 5,000 businesses, universities and RTOs (Research Technology Organisations) - launched the CPP at the euroLED exhibition in Coventry, where it had a major presence including its own members' pavilion.

The programme has three main themes: to put R&D companies in touch with expert routes to financial support; to use its network to link members with the correct support skills they need; and to make technical facilities available, such as its own state-of-the-art laboratories at the Aston Science Park in Birmingham.

The scheme is backed by major organisations including PERA, QinetiQ and NPL (National Physical Laboratory).

"Our R&D Collaborative Partner Programme is a landmark development for the UK's hard-pressed yet highly ingenious and innovative photonics R&D community," said Alex Clarke of the Photonics Cluster.

"It will enable growth and will see members utilise the new resources to bring their products to market quickly and efficiently, and greatly enhance bottom line opportunities in the process."

News of the new programme came as the Photonics Cluster had its largest ever presence at euroLED. In addition to its own members' pavilion, Cluster members were present throughout the show - now in its fifth year and with exhibitors from all over the world, including Australia, the United States and China.

Companies in the pavilion and at the show itself included Bentham Instruments, a manufacturer of systems for applications involving the study and measurement of light, Marl, a pioneer in LED technology, and Ocean Optics, a global photonics firm and optical sensor specialist.

Photonics Cluster (UK)

The Photonics Cluster (UK) was formed in 2000 and in located at Aston Science Park in Birmingham. It has a core membership of 200 members and relationships with more than 5,000 businesses, universities and RTOs. The organisation has successfully completed projects with more than 600 companies and has leveraged funding in excess of £4m.

Photonics is defined as the generation and harnessing of light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon (analogous to electronics where the unit is the electron) and pervades almost every sector of industry with technologies ranging from light generation and manipulation using optical components, to detection, power generation with photovoltaics through to communications and information processing.

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