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  • Fraunhofer Opening Laser Research Center at Strathclyde
Jun 2012
GLASGOW, Scotland, June 1, 2012 — The UK's first Fraunhofer Center will be based at the University of Strathclyde, the university announced this week. The new Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics will be a hub for industry-driven laser research and technology for health care, security, energy and transport, among other sectors.

The new facility, funded by Fraunhofer, the university, the Scottish government, Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Funding Council, will be based in Strathclyde's new Technology and Innovation Centre. The 269,000-sq-ft building costing 89 million pounds is expected to house 850 academics, researchers and project managers from the university and its industrial partners when it opens in 2014.

The Centre for Applied Photonics is expected to be the model for more Fraunhofer research centers around the UK, and Fraunhofer will establish UK headquarters, Fraunhofer UK Research Ltd., at the university. Fraunhofer has more than 20,000 employees in more than 80 research units in Germany alone, and is establishing centers throughout Europe, Asia and North America, most recently at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Artist's rendering of the University of Strathclyde's Technology and Innovation Centre, now under construction. (Image: University of Strathclyde)

"Fraunhofer has been eager, for some time, to create a research center in Glasgow in conjunction with Strathclyde," said Ulrich Buller, a senior vice president and executive board member of Fraunhofer Gesellschaft.

"It is fitting that the UK's first Fraunhofer Centre is dedicated to lasers, a thriving industry Scotland has excelled in for decades," said Jim McDonald, principal of the University of Strathclyde.

"Photonics activity is particularly strong in the UK, and most especially in Scotland, and I look forward to many years of collaboration between Fraunhofer and the UK companies which will be beneficial to the economies of Scotland, the UK and Europe as a whole," said Oliver Ambacher, director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solid State Applied Physics in Freiburg, the partnering institute of the new Fraunhofer unit in Glasgow.

"The establishment of the new center will provide a range of expertise, skills and facilities in photonics technologies that small and large companies can tap into to support their own innovation and product development, and ultimately economic success," said Mark Batho, chief executive of the Scottish Funding Council.

The Fraunhofer Center is the latest in a series of partnerships the university has announced recently.

Earlier this month, Strathclyde announced it will be the exclusive European partner for South Korea’s global research and commercialization program, and in February said it would play a key role in the UK's Catapult Centre for Offshore Renewable Energy.

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The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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