15:30 – 17:30
UK capabilities in photonics (& new allied technologies): current status, demands and drivers, future prospects, and opportunities for growth
- Prof Andrew Lord, BT
- James Regan, EFFECT Photonics
The UK is one of the top 5 photonics manufacturers and innovators globally, with companies manufacturing and delivering services based on photonics technology employing over 75,000 people and output forecast by The Photonics Leadership Group to grow to £16 billion in 2022. Photonics systems are at the core of digital services, optical communications, autonomous transport, and at the heart of the harnessing the tremendous promise of quantum science.
At the same time, the UK Government is keen to incentivise industry to create new products and services to support its goals to diversify the 5G supply chain and to unlock the full potential of Open RAN, bringing the benefits to everyone of ultra-high capacity, green internet services, upon which society increasingly relies for work, education, health and well-being, social contacts and entertainment, as has been clearly demonstrated since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This workshop will bring together key stakeholders and representatives from government, regulators, innovators, strategists and analysts to review the current status of UK capabilities in photonics, particularly as related to optical communications and the future requirements in 5G RAN and beyond 5G, to consider present societal demands and business drivers, and to examine future prospects for photonic technologies and new opportunities for short, medium, and long-term growth.
- John Lincoln, Photonics Leadership Group
- Iain Mauchline, Innovate UK
- Will Stewart, OFCOM
- Carlos Lee, EPIC
The dawning Optical Fibre Age is different – really
Prof Will Stewart, FREng, HonFIET, FInstP, FOSA
It is traditional to see the development of civilization in tech-defined ‘ages’, and so far as communications is concerned we started a century ago in a ‘copper age’ which is now fading into an optical fibre age, which will have a huge impact. Of course the optical fibre dates back to the work of Charles Kao in 1967 (with the UK making and continuing to make key contributions) but its arrival with actual users in the access network is only now developing. The real significance of this has yet to be felt – there is a rise of many orders of magnitude in the capacity potentially available to each user – to levels far beyond anything offered by the RF spectrum. At last we have plenty of room at the top! (of the e/m spectrum). And this is vital – already Ofcom records data flows to the user on ‘fixed’ (including fibre and WiFi) as 100 times those on mobile, and still rising fast.
Europe in the global photonics landscape
Carlos Lee, EPIC
Innovate UK & Photonics
Iain Mauchline, Innovate UK
A brief introduction to Innovate UK – the general background and role that Innovate UK has in promoting and furthering the UK’s innovation and technology. As part of UK Research and Innovation, Innovate UK drives productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas including those from the UK’s world-class research base.
Support and Funding Opportunities – an overview of grants and other funding mechanism available and the support network that Innovate UK can offer e.g. KTN , EDGE, KTP.
Photonics @ Innovate UK – Examples of project areas currently running related to photonics. The future vision of photonics at Innovate UK as a key enabling and cross cutting technology.
Prof. Andrew Lord, Senior Manager of Optical Research, BT
Andrew joined BT in 1985 after a BA in Physics from Oxford University. He has helped design a wide range of optical network systems and technolAndrew Lordogies, including long haul subsea and terrestrial DWDM networks. He has been responsible for optical fibre and systems specifications. He currently leads BT’s optical core and access research including optical access, high speed transmission, Software Defined Networking and Quantum Communications. He has recently initiated BT’s quantum research, with applications in areas such as secure communications, timing and sensing. He regularly speaks at conferences, sits on several organising committees, including ECOC and was Technical Program Chair for OFC 2015 and General Chair for OFC 2017. He is an associate Editor of Journal of Lightwave Technology, is Visiting Professor at Essex University, Senior Member of the IEEE and a Chartered Engineer with the IET. He is industrial chair of NDFIS (National Dark Fibre Infrastructure). He currently is project manager for the large EU Horizon 2020 project ‘Metro-Haul’ researching optical networks for 5G.
James Regan, Chief Executive Officer, EFFECT Photonics
James has more than 30 years’ experience in the optical communications component industry. He has held several different roles in research, engineering, project and product management, marketing, sales, and general management. Before joining EFFECT Photonics in 2011, James helped build successful business within large companies such as Nortel Components and JDSU, as well as multiple start-ups, including Agility Communications.
Prof Will Stewart, FREng, HonFIET, FInstP, FOSA.
My degrees (at IC) were in fact in physics from which i moved into optics and then into industrial R&D particularly helping to move forward the fibre optics revolution. I did move on to encompass many other things from medical imaging to biosensors as well as wireless comms as Chief Scientist of Marconi. I was in at the very start of lots of exciting things such as metamaterials and retain substantial involvement with this and with fibres at Southampton and other places, and for a good many years have chaired the IET’s Communications Policy panel which has issued reports on everything from Demand Attentive Networks to 999 text calling and 5-6G. I am on the management cttee of the ECOC fibre confernce. I also work with Ofcom on emergent Technology. At home I do woodturning!
Carlos Lee, Director General, EPIC
Carlos Lee is Director General at EPIC, the European Photonics Industry Consortium, the largest photonics industry association in the world representing over 750 members across 33 countries. As part of the EPIC mission, Carlos works closely with industrial photonic companies to ensure a vibrant and competitive ecosystem by maintaining a strong international network and acting as a catalyst and facilitator for technological and commercial advancement. He brings with him a strong background in microelectronics which was acquired through several management positions held at the international association SEMI. He has been responsible in Europe for the SEMI International Standards program, managed technical and executive programs, and together with the advisory board advocated for a more competitive semiconductor and photovoltaic manufacturing industry. Carlos has a BBA in Finance and an MBA in Leadership & Change Management from United Business Institutes. He lives with his spouse and three children in Belgium.
Dr Iain S Mauchline, Innovate UK, Innovation Lead – Electronics, Sensors & Photonics
Iain joined Innovate UK as Innovation Lead – Electronics Sensors & Photonics in October 2021 with a remit to further establish ESP as a key enabling and cross-cutting technology, spanning Challenge and application areas. He previously was the Engineering Director at OptoSci, a photonics systems and sensors SME. His expertise covers many areas of ESP, design and manufacture of systems for photonics education, training and research, and fibre optic sensing systems for harsh and industrial environments He graduated from the University of Strathclyde with a BEng in Electrical & Electronic Engineering and a PhD specialising in glass integrated optics. Then joined the research staff at Strathclyde from 1994 1996 before moving to OptoSci Ltd. With over 30 year experience working across optoelectronics and photonics, he has managed numerous national and international product development programmes bringing in excess of twenty major product lines to market and industrialising research. Iain joined Innovate UK as Innovation Lead – Electronics Sensors & Photonics in October 2021 with a remit to further establish ESP as a key enabling and cross-cutting technology, spanning Challenge and application areas. He previously was the Engineering Director at OptoSci, a photonics systems and sensors SME. His expertise covers many areas of ESP, design and manufacture of systems for photonics education, training and research, and fibre optic sensing systems for harsh and industrial environments He graduated from the University of Strathclyde with a BEng in Electrical & Electronic Engineering and a PhD specialising in glass integrated optics. Then joined the research staff at Strathclyde from 1994 1996 before moving to OptoSci Ltd. With over 30 year experience working across optoelectronics and photonics, he has managed numerous national and international product development programmes bringing in excess of twenty major product lines to market and industrialising research.
Dr John Lincoln, Chief Executive, UK Photonics Leadership Group
Dr John Lincoln is Chief Executive of the UK Photonics Leadership Group, European Strategic Relationship Advisor for SPIE, industrial liaison for the Future Photonics Hub Southampton and Sheffield Universities and member of multiple advisory boards including the Centre for Doctoral Training in Photonic Integration and Advanced Data Storage and the National Healthcare Photonics Centre. Through business development consultancy, Harlin Ltd, John supports SMEs, Universities, VCs and government agencies to identify growth opportunities and the impact of photonics and other key enabling technologies.