£500k funding to support innovative UK photonics manufacturing research
The Future Photonics Hub (the Hub) has announced funding for five new research projects that seek to develop a pathway to manufacture for the next-generation photonics technologies.
£250k from the Future Photonics Hub Innovation Fund, supported by the Engineering and Research Council (EPSRC), has been awarded to industry-focused research projects led by a number of UK universities following the latest annual call. A further £250k funding was awarded in 2016, bringing the current total value of Innovation Fund projects to £500k.
Over its seven year lifetime, the Hub will make a total of £1M available through its Innovation Fund, to support new avenues of research as they arise in response to the evolving demands of industry. Periodic thematic calls for proposals help to ensure that the research programme remains responsive to emerging industrial challenges and by stimulating new partnerships between industry and academia, helps to drive the UK photonics manufacturing ecosystem.
Each of the nine Innovation Fund projects awarded to date bring new and complementary capabilities to the Hub which support its ambition to develop lower-cost, higher-performing and better integrated photonics devices and systems.
The five most recently-awarded projects are:
- Large scale manufacturing of metamaterials with direct laser writing. PI: Dr Martynas Beresna, University of Southampton
- Low cost manufacturing of integrated LIDAR arrays. PI: Dr Frederic Gardes, University of Southampton, in collaboration with Universite Paris-Sud and Imperial College London
- Measuring lung inhomogeneity in paediatric cystic fibrosis. PI: Prof Grant Ritchie, University of Oxford
- Chiral light sensor fabricated by chiral light. PI: Dr Konstantin Borisenko (Department of Materials, University of Oxford)
- Integrated Graphene on Ge/Si Platform for mid-IR Photodetectors. PI: Prof Stephan Hofmann (University of Cambridge)
These projects address some of the industry’s key manufacturing challenges such as: producing small, lightweight and low power LIDAR devices for applications in remote sensing and autonomous vehicle navigation, developing low-cost, high-yield methods to fabricate advanced mid-infrared sensors for environmental sensing and point of care diagnostics and bringing the exciting, emerging field of metamaterials closer to practical application.
Launched in September 2016, the Future Photonics Hub Innovation Fund enables the inclusion of academic partners which bring additional capabilities to the research programme and strengthen its work across four core Technology Platforms:
- High-performance silica optical fibres
- Light generation and delivery
- Silicon photonics
- Large-scale manufacture of metamaterials and 2D materials
- Integration (proposals involving two or more of the above themes