HEFCE money to enable Southampton to share UK photonics skills
25 Jan 2018
Southampton university has received £0.2 million from the Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE) Catalyst programme to subsidise training for the photonics industry.
The money provided to Southampton’s Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) is part of some £6.1 million provided to more than 30 higher education institutes and intended to support the Government’s new industrial strategy.
Photonics, the science and technology of light, is an expanding field but faces a developing skills shortage, especially regarding the design and fabrication of devices and circuits in advanced materials.
It will involve Southampton working closely with its counterparts Surrey, Cardiff, Manchester and University College London, as well as key partners and investors including Rockley Photonics, Oclaro Technology, Huawei UK, Optocap and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL).
Southampton has a unique fabrication capability which can be effectively utilised by universities and industry alike
Professor Graham Reed, deputy director, ORC
“The University of Southampton has a unique fabrication capability that is already available and open for collaborative projects, which can be effectively utilised by universities and industry alike, to train and retrain their students and staff,” said Professor Graham Reed, ORC deputy director and director of cleanroom operations.
The institution’s expertise will be employed in order to enable other universities to include device fabrication within the study they offer, without having to contend with the capital demands required in order for each one to develop its own facilities.
Added Reed: “A key component of our activities will be curriculum development to close skills gaps in the important area of manufacturing and future materials, to help stimulate support for, and sustain economic growth locally, regionally, and nationally, in line with the government’s industrial strategy.”