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  • Ireland Invests Big in Research

Mar 2013

Ireland’s photonics industry will be one beneficiary of a €300 million investment in scientific research through Science Foundation Ireland’s Research Centres Programme, plus millions in cash and in-kind contributions from at least 156 industry partners.

Photonics is one of seven key areas that will benefit from the establishment of “world-class centers of research excellence and scale which will be game changers for Irish scientific research,” according to Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovations, Richard Bruton, TD. It is anticipated that the investment will support more than 800 scientists and create vital jobs.

The Irish Photonics Integration Research Centre (I-PIC) will be located at Tyndall National Institute at University College Cork (UCC); Paul Townsend, head of photonics at Tyndall and a physics research professor there, will be the lead principal investigator.

The I-PIC team members have varied roles and backgrounds. Liam Barry is associate dean of research on the faculty of engineering and computing at Dublin City University; Colette McDonagh is that university’s head of school. Tyndall National Institute’s members include researcher/lecturer Dr. Frank Peters; senior research fellow Dr. Emanuele Pelucchi; Brian Corbett, head of the III-V Material and Devices Group; Dr. Peter O’ Brien, principal investigator for photonics packaging; and Eoin P. O’Reilly, head of the Theory, Modeling and Design Center and also head of photonics theory. Dr. Guillaume Huyet is the head of the Center for Advanced Photonics and Process Analysis as well as senior lecturer at Cork Institute of Technology. Dmitri Papkovsky is a biochemistry professor at UCC.

In this issue

Research investment is critical, but what happens once the technology is proved and ready to take its place in the world?

Europe has a great reputation for research but maybe not so much in the next step – commercialization – according to contributing editor Marie Freebody. In her feature, “The Ups and Downs of Technology Transfer in Europe,” she asks whether Europeans should adopt more of a “rock star” attitude toward technology transfer. “The antagonists to technology transfer,” Freebody writes, “range from funding issues and intellectual patent nightmares to a cultural aversion to risk-taking.” Read the article beginning on page 20.

Also in this issue, Trey Turner of REO and consultant Patrick Casnedi provide an overview of a novel technique called activated covalent bonding, which they say responds to the need for an optical bonding technology that overcomes disadvantages including optical performance, laser damage characteristics and environmental attributes. Read “Novel Bonding Technology Improves Optical Assemblies,” beginning on page 27.

Finally, in “Passively Q-Switched Microchip Lasers Enable Ultrashort Pulses,” Florent Thibault of Teem Photonics explains that, in a world where the micron has become the standard, subnanosecond lasers may be the answer for emerging industrial microprocessing applications. The article begins on page 24.

Enjoy the issue. I welcome your comments at

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