Wales leads the way in the science of Light

An exciting new Pan-Wales project was launched at the Cardiff Millenium Centre recently.  The CAMPUS (CApability Matrix for Photonics Up Skilling) project, lead by the School of Electronic Engineering, is focussing on collaboration with Welsh companies.  The project aims to give local companies exclusive access to specialist research and development equipment, facilities and staff, in order to position Wales as a leader in the science of photonics.

The Clean Room  facility at the School of Electronic EngineeringThe Clean Room facility at the School of Electronic EngineeringPhotonics is the science of the manipulation of light.  The industry has always been strong in Wales.  A recent European Commission report placed the European market for Photonics at around £58.5 Billion, or 21% of the world market.  The knock on effect of the industry leads to around £3 trillion in sales and a further 30 Million jobs.  Wales boasts an impressive 6% stake of this very important market.

Professor Alan Shore explained: “Photonics is relevant in every market sector, from the production of television screens and blue ray or dvd players to lighting in the home and electronics in cars as well as in medicine, where lasers are used to treat all kinds of ailments, and imaging devices are used for diagnostics.  Amazingly, around one third of the cost of a car is made up of photonics, from the led lights to display screens and beyond…  This industry is especially important as reducing electricity consumption for a more sustainable future is high on the agenda, creating electronics and lighting which uses less energy is a of strategic importance.”

A Nitroegn Glove Box at the School of Electronic Engingeering: photo credit Glyn DaviesA Nitroegn Glove Box at the School of Electronic Engingeering: photo credit Glyn DaviesThe CAMPUS project has flung open the doors of Welsh Higher Education institutions and Welsh companies now have unprecedented access to specialist equipment all over Wales.  The type of equipment that has now been made available is so specialist that companies would have to invest heavily in order to purchase just one piece of the available equipment.  Now through Bangor University and its partners such access is available across Wales.

The matrix of expertise can be accessed via Bangor’s web site under the business section. Any companies who wish to be involved should contact Professor Alan Shore at the School of Electronic Engineering.

Publication date: 24 August 2012