Making light fantastic

Posted on Sep 5, 2013

Making light fantastic

Matter PR has been working with the Photonics Leadership Group – which represents UK manufacturers, associations, and research institutes – to help them develop a campaign to raise awareness and understanding of the importance of photonics to the UK.

Photonics covers any science or technology related to the transmission and manipulation of light such as lasers, fibre optic cables, and barcode scanners. The UK’s photonics industry employs over 70,000 people and is worth in excess of £10 billion to the economy. It’s also one of the few sectors which is enjoying sustained growth every year and is considered a key enabling technology for finding solutions to major global challenges in healthcare, advanced manufacturing, security, and communications.

Dr Chris Dorman, chairman of the Photonics Leadership Group said:

“The UK is one of the top five global innovators in photonics and makes a significant contribution to economic growth, through both the direct manufacture of photonics devices and by enabling it to be embedded in a wide range of products.”

“To improve on our position, we need to ensure policymakers understand the power of photonics, support industry working in this area, and enthuse people about some of the new technology being developed.”

The Photonics Leadership Group (PLG) was reformed in 2013 with backing from over 50 leading manufacturers, research institutes, and professional bodies. At a meeting in May, it welcomed the Technology Strategy Board’s identification of photonics as a key enabling technology and acknowledged the significant investment of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) over many years.

Matter PR has been supporting the PLG by developing a series of activities which will reach out to policymakers, parliamentarians, and the media and help increase understanding of the science, technology, and issues within the sector.

The group aims to maximise growth of an industry that was described by Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission, as “essential to keeping over 10% of the European economy competitive.”

In addition to working with UK business, government and support agencies, the Photonics Leadership Group is working closely with the Photonics21 project, the knowledge transfer network ESP KTN, and the new Public Private Partnership in Photonics being developed with the European Commission.

Matter PR provides a range of services in government and parliamentary relations as well as strategy development and campaign work.