We link across the value chains to ensure that the UK remains a key player in the Photonics market.

  1. Informing of developments be that technical, legislative, financial etc.
  2. Forums for discussions, postings of technology offers/demands, linked to funding calls
  3. Events for networking across value chains but also for local network building


We encourage participation from other sectors, because we believe that this is key to innovation and important to the photonics market. After all we know that photonics plays a key role in many other sectors.

Below are examples of different technologies that belong under the photonics umbrella:

• Scanning, sensing and imaging systems

• Data transmission, storage, communication and networks

• Screens and displays

• Advanced lighting;

• Laser systems

• Photonics systems for medical and biological application


Knowledge Centres Driving innovation

The three main challenge areas are shown below, although our work is by no means limited to these three areas, as can be seen from our work in the Special Interest Groups of Internet of Things, Smart DC, Smart Energy and the Connected Digital Economy Catapult group.

View ElectronicsView SensorsView Photonics



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Manufacturing and materials innovation: apply for funding

By Anke Lohmann

Innovate UK has up to £15 million to invest in projects that support innovation in manufacturing and materials and lead to improvements in productivity, competitiveness and growth.

The call is different to previous calls. Applicants can decide for which of the tools they would like to apply for: feasibility studies, industrial research and experimental development. Projects may span more than one category of research.

The competition is the first of Innovate UK’s new simplified competitions focused on the 4 key sectors of manufacturing and materials; emerging and enabling technologies; health and life sciences; and infrastructure systems.

Manufacturing is strong growth market

In this manufacturing and materials competition InnovateUK seeks proposals that:

  • take an innovative step in addressing the manufacturing readiness of growing sectors
  • develop flexible or efficient processes
  • seek greater customisation of products to fit diverging consumer needs
  • diversify product and service lines to serve new markets
  • develop novel services that open up new sources of revenue from manufacturing

Additive manufacturing is not included in the scope of this competition but will be the focus of a second competition to be launched soon. An open competition that is not sector based will also be launched in June.

Competition information

  • the competition is opens and the deadline for registration is at noon on 6 July 2016
  • projects must be led by a business and include at least one SME
  • projects with eligible costs up to £100,000 can involve a single SME
  • projects with eligible costs of more than £100,000 must involve a business working with at least one other business or research organisation
  • we expect projects to range in size from total costs of £50,000 to £2 million and to last from 6 months to 3 years
  • businesses could receive up to 70% of their project costs for feasibility studies and industrial research, and up to 45% of their costs for experimental development
  • briefing events for potential applicants will take place in London on 23 May 2016, in the West Midlands on 26 May 2016 and in Manchester on 27 May 2016

Latest activity

November 12
Joel Mitchelson has joined the group.
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Stephen Fisher has joined the group.
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Kin Kee Chow has joined the group.
October 3
David Wesley Charlton has joined the group.
September 23
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Oksana Bondar has joined the group.
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Mike Snow has joined the group.
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Peter Fletcher has joined the group.
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For photonics student: Entreprepreneural Boot Camp, 14 -16 Sep in Vienna,

Are you a postgraduate student studying photonics with an idea for a new business?   ...

Manufacturing and materials innovation: apply for funding

Innovate UK has up to £15 million to invest in projects that support innovation in...

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A little about Photonics Group

Improving the UK’s innovation performance by increasing the breadth and depth of the knowledge transfer of technology into UK based businesses