CORNERSTONE Photonics Innovation Centre (C-PIC)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Southampton
Department Name: Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC)


However, access to silicon prototyping facilities remains a challenge in the UK due to the high cost of both equipment and the cleanroom facilities that are required to house the equipment. Furthermore, there is often a disconnect in communication between industry and academia, resulting in some industrial challenges remaining unsolved, and support, training, and networking opportunities for academics to engage with commercialisation activities isn't widespread.

The C-PIC host institutions comprising University of Southampton, University of Glasgow and the Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC), together with 105 partners at proposal stage, will overcome these challenges by uniting leading UK entrepreneurs and researchers, together with a network of support to streamline the route to commercialisation, translating a wide range of technologies from research labs into industry, underpinned by the C-PIC silicon photonics prototyping foundry. Applications will cover data centre communications; sensing for healthcare, the environment & defence; quantum technologies; artificial intelligence; LiDAR; and more.

We will deliver our vision by fulfilling these objectives:

Translate a wide range of silicon photonics technologies from research labs into industry, supporting the creation of new companies & jobs, and subsequently social & economic impact.
Interconnect the UK silicon photonics ecosystem, acting as the front door to UK expertise, including by launching an online Knowledge Hub.
Fund a broad range of Innovation projects supporting industrial-academic collaborations aimed at solving real world industry problems, with the overarching goal of demonstrating high potential solutions in a variety of application areas.
Embed equality, diversity, and inclusion best practice into everything we do.
Deliver the world's only open source, fully flexible silicon photonics prototyping foundry based on industry-like technology, facilitating straightforward scale-up to commercial viability.
Support entrepreneurs in their journey to commercialisation by facilitating networks with venture capitalists, mentors, training, and recruitment.
Represent the interests of the community at large with policy makers and the public, becoming an internationally renowned Centre able to secure overseas investment and international partners.
Act as a convening body for the field in the UK, becoming a hub of skills, knowledge, and networking opportunities, with regular events aimed at ensuring possibilities for advancing the field and delivering impact are fully exploited.
Increase the number of skilled staff working in impact generating roles in the field of silicon photonics via a range of training events and company growth, whilst routinely seeking additional funding to expand training offerings.



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