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  • UK Agency Boosts Photonics Center Funding
Jan 2004
CAMBRIDGE, England, Jan. 27 -- The East of England Development Agency (EEDA), which fosters economic development in the east of England (Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk), announced it will provide major funding to the Centre for Integrated Photonics (CIP), a research organization that works with academia and industry to develop optoelectronic component design and fabrication and optical communication systems technology.

EEDA purchased the Corning Research Center from Corning Inc. in 2003, when Corning announced it would close its center as part of its restructuring. The EEDA said CIP, based in Martlesham Heath, near Ipswitch, will aim to be the UK's leading facility for applications of integrated photonics, microtechnology and nanotechnology.

CIP has received interim funding from the UK Department of Trade and Industry as a potential facility for use in the National Microsystems and Nanotechnology development program. It also received a major research contract from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), granted to University College London (UCL) for CIP to research, develop and deliver a variety of novel photonics devices to a consortium of four UK universities: UCL, Imperial College London, University of Cambridge and University of Essex. A contract has also been awarded to CIP by BT Exact, Britsh Telecommunications' research, technology and IT business.

CIP CEO Stephen Holton said CIP can now offer the services of world-class equipment, technologists and scientists to universities and industry in the UK and internationally.

"The east of England is one of the foremost areas in the world in terms of scientific and high-tech research and development, and CIP will bring a wealth of research and expertise to universities and industries across the UK," Holton said.

"A major aim of the center will be to facilitate the transfer of university research into industry, which will assist in the growth of the cluster of high-tech companies around Ipswich, but our vision is for CIP to become an asset to companies nationally, in applications of photonics to a range of industries."

He said the consortium collaborated with CIP staff to bid for the EPSRC contract and that CIP will be the core deliverer of the photonics components required for its research. "However, the facility will be open to any university for PhD and post-doctorate research projects," he said.

Holton said a number of collaborative projects are also being negotiated with organizations in Europe and the US.

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