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Optoelectronics & Communications

Ireland photonics platform launches

SPIE Newsroom
1 September 2015

Damien English, Ireland Minister of State with special responsibility for Skills, Research and Innovation

Damien English, Ireland's Minister of State with special responsibility for Skills, Research and Innovation, addresses the opening celebration for the Photonics Ireland National Technology Platform.

The biennial Photonics Ireland conference kickoff on 1 September at Cork City Hall featured the launch of a new photonics-based technology platform for Ireland.

At the event, Ireland's Minister for State for Skills, Research & Innovation, Damien English T.D., officially launched "Photonics Ireland, Making Light Work," a strategy document to grow Ireland's photonics sector and a plan for Ireland to benefit from all the opportunities expected in photonics over the coming years. The document outlines plans for a National Technology Platform in the area of photonics, which will provide a roadmap to grow photonics activities -- specifically in the area of technology, incubation and training for Irish photonics SMEs and startups, while also addressing the needs of a number of large multinational organizations who incorporate photonics in their next-generation products.

The minister said that investment in R&D had “played a major part in our recovery” in Ireland

A major sponsor of the event was the Irish Photonic Integration Centre (IPIC). The new €30 million facility is a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Research Centre that brings together over 100 researchers from four institutes to develop new light-enabled technologies.

IPIC works with 18 industry partners to develop the next generation of highly compact and miniaturized photonic technologies. The center's work is focused on revolutionizing the speed of data transfer through faster, more energy-efficient devices and delivering new smart medical devices for improved diagnosis and treatment of disease. IPIC is led by Tyndall National Institute in collaboration with University College Cork (UCC), Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and Dublin City University (DCU).

Sponsors of Photonics Ireland also include the Tyndall National Institute, one of Europe's leading research centres in Information and Communications Technology R&D, and the largest research facility of its type in Ireland. It is based at University College Cork and interacts with more than 200 industry partners and customers worldwide. The Centre for Advanced Photonics & Process Analysis (CAPPA) is a research center of Cork Institute of Technology, conducting both applied and fundamental research on photonics for applications in areas as diverse as telecommunications, medical devices, food and pharmaceutical manufacturing.