UK Photonic Systems Outreach Network

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Photonics is the technology which underpins the Internet and has fuelled a revolution in communications over the past 20 years. Continued development of new technologies has positioned photonics well to make significant contributions to emerging societal challenges, such as energy efficiency and climate change, healthcare in an ageing society, the digital divide, the knowledge society, and public safety and security. Examples include green communication networks, photonics-related medical diagnosis, autonomous sensor networks, manufacturing and solid-state lighting are significant trends that have been identified.
However this potential will often only be realised by forming cross community projects which bring researchers together from appropriate disciplines to offer 'systems' and solutions. The research community is committed to achieving this holding the view that there needs to be more cross ICT working, with activities spanning the current research themes in order to deliver solutions.
It is the function of the Network to contribute to achieving this by bring together the photonics research community with other related communities (e.g. computing, people and interactivity, manufacturing and quality, healthcare, safety and security, and cutting-edge materials and technology) to develop research streams which address all the the aspects needed to deliver solutions.

Planned Impact

The network will primarily focus on developing channels of communication for community building, enhancing both those within the community but more importantly building stronger outreach links to other related technical and user communities. In doing this we anticipate a legacy of improved communication and integration by motivating complementarity, multidisciplinarity, and collaboration between researchers. The outcomes are expected to be beyond those of small scale, focused collaborations between research teams, targetting a greater imapct of photonic technologies in wider and novel application domains. We anticipate the following high level impacts:

- Development of a collegiate culture within the Photonics community
- Formation of new channels for dialogue across technical community boundaries opening new collaborative research opportunities
- Establishment of broader based, more integrated research communities
- A better equipped photonics community positioned to respond for effectively to new opportunities through integrated and multidisciplinary research
- Influence on the research portfolio in terms of balance and connectivity
- Influence on the direction of national and international programs
- Influence on research council and other strategy and policy making organizations (e.g. with the involvement of such organisations as the EPSRC)
- Engagement with Knowledge Transfer Networks (KTNs) and others in order to establish new pathways to commercial impact


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Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
EP/J005371/1 03/10/2011 31/08/2012 £152,497
EP/J005371/2 Transfer EP/J005371/1 01/09/2012 30/01/2015 £129,006
Description This was an EPSRC network grant with an aim to achieve outreach of the Photonics Community to other disciplines. During the award, a strong link was created with the Communications research community addressing issues of convergence between wireless and optical technologies/systems
Exploitation Route Activities had an impact in bringing together optical and wireless coms researchers. The new EPSRC network Commnet2 includes both communities as a result of the outreach achieved in this project.
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software)