Scottish Optoelectronics Association

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Institute of Photonics

Institute of Photonics Logo logo

University of Strathclyde Wolfson Centre
106 Rottenrow
G4 0NW

Phone: 0141 548 4120
Fax: 0141 552 1575
Employees: 50

  Contact Phone Fax Email
Primary Simon Andrews 0141 548 4120 0141 552 1575
Sales/2nd Tim Holt 0141 548 4120 0141 552 1575
Technical/3rd Prof Martin Dawson 0141 548 4120 0141 552 1575

Organisation Description

The Institute of Photonics, a commercially oriented research unit, established in 1995, is part of the University of Strathclyde.

The Institute’s key objective is ‘to bridge the gap between academic research and industrial application, of photonics, through excellence in commercially relevant research and its exploitation’.

Our research agenda is influenced both by latest developments in academic research and by industry requirements. The research environment at the Institute mixes the purely academic with the real world requirements of industry. We are equally at home working with industrial or academic partners.

Our research interests span a broad range of photonic source development, semiconductor materials and devices, all-solid-state lasers and applications. We have established ourselves in biophotonics, in optical communications, in imaging, in materials processing and a host of other areas. Our research teams combine to create a unique blend of semiconductor, laser and applications expertise.

Product/Research Description

The foundations of the Institute’s activities are highly focused strategic and applied research programmes. To date, 63% of our funding has come from traditional academic sources from UK and EU funds. By publishing and presenting this work internationally we reinforce our reputation for research excellence.

A major part of our funding has been with Industry, either on a one-to-one basis or as members of a publicly funded consortium of academic and industrial partners. We seek to establish long-term, on-going relationships with companies. We provide research capabilities which complement their internal research activities and enhance their business performance.

We endeavour to be flexible and have new schemes and mechanisms to react more quickly to your needs.

New Products

Commercial Engagement:
The development, management and exploitation of intellectual property are essential components of the Institute’s activities. Our IP portfolio, including know-how and patents, is available for exploitation through licensing or equity vehicles. We are also keen to support new ventures arising both from within the Institute and from other sources. We have been instrumental in the creation of new ventures and our licensing deals have been beneficial to a number of companies.

Main Markets

In addition to supporting the laser and optoelectronics industries, our expertise is applicable to a broad range of “user” industry sectors including industrial, defence, biomedical, telecommunications, electronics, oil and gas and environment.

Services Offered

The Institute undertakes collaborative research with industry, research organisations and other academic institutions. This highly focused commercially-orientated research forms the basis of the Institute’s activities.

Industrial Membership Programme:
Our Industrial Membership Programme (IMP) offers a mechanism for companies with the interest or need to be engaged in photonics, to participate in the wider Institute community. Members benefit through networking, access to Institute staff and students and have early notification of research results and commercialisation opportunities.

Research Technologist:
The Institute of Photonics has recently employed a Research Technologist, to respond more quickly to the needs of industry. Whilst University staff are often committed to long term research projects, the Institute recognised the need to be able to work more flexibly with industry and in particular with SMEs. It is SMEs’ frequent desire for shorter term contracts and for the research to be started more quickly that led to this new initiative. This new post enables a researcher with expertise in optics, electronics and software to bring his research experience from academia and industry to bear on challenges from industry. The Research Technologist will be supported by the Institute’s in-house electronics and mechanical workshops and will draw on the knowledge of the 60 strong staff and students in the Institute. It is one of several initiatives instigated by the Institute to address the misconception that universities are slow to react, details of which can be found on the Institute web site.

Specialised Skills and Facilities

The Institute is located in ~8,000 ft2 self-contained premises in the Wolfson Centre at the University of Strathclyde’s, John Anderson campus in central Glasgow.

Facilities include 12 fully-equipped laser laboratories, extensive diagnostic equipment and a range of software tools for optical and multi-physics modelling and design. In addition, we also access equipment at several other facilities for example: – An off-campus multi-user III-V semiconductor fabrication facility, in which we are a partner; – At the Centre for Biophotonics, (on campus); – At the Department of Physics (on campus).

We currently have around 60 staff and students, the majority of whom are specialist researchers and PhD students. We also have dedicated support from electronic and mechanical technicians, IT, administration and business development personnel.

Collaboration Sought or Offered

The Institute is interested in collaborating with industry and academia to produce practical solutions and research in any area that may require the use of reliable, efficient and compact laser light sources.



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