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UK invests in photonics for health care

EuroPhotonics
Jun 2013
SWINDON, England – The UK’s Technology Strategy Board (TSB) will invest up to £3.7 million in projects that use innovative photonic technologies in business-led partnerships between academia, industry and health care providers to solve health challenges.

The project aims to overcome hurdles that clinicians and others in the health care industry have in understanding the potential of next-generation photonic technologies, the TSB said, by bringing together multidisciplinary teams to develop new photonics applications.

The funding will be run as a two-part process, with the first being a single-stage competition for feasibility studies and the second, a two-stage competition for collaborative research and development projects. Applicants for both stages must include at least one small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) as part of their team. The TSB will allocate £1.5 million for the first stage, with individual awards totaling as much as £175,000.

Projects funded in the second stage will last between 12 and 24 months and will receive individual awards of up to £750,000 of the £2.2 million total.

“The involvement of clinical and industrial end users in both the feasibility studies and R&D stages of the competition will help ensure not just that the [National Health Service] and clinicians fully understand the potential of next-generation photonic technologies, but that they can bring their expertise to bear in the development of a range of new tools for less-invasive diagnosis and surgery,” said TSB Chief Executive Iain Gray.


GLOSSARY
photonics
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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