Cutbacks to photonics projects being implemented by UK technology group QinetiQ will have a devastating impact on the country's expertise in optics, and hurt the wider economy in the long-term, say critics of the company's restructuring plans.
QinetiQ first announced that it would be "streamlining" its business in July, in the light of declining revenues from research projects funded by the UK's Ministry of Defence (MOD) and the likelihood of more cuts in the future. When the company subsequently announced further cuts in early August, the Prospect trade union, which represents 2000 QinetiQ workers, said that a quarter of QinetiQ's 6000 UK employees were now at risk of redundancy following a statutory 90-day consultation period.
Full story from optics.org: QinetiQ under fire amid photonics cuts
Letter from SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs to UK politicians regarding QinetiQ