Wales Establishes Photonics Network and Leadership Council

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CARDIFF, Wales, June 25, 2021 — Wales launched a dedicated photonics network and leadership council, Photonics Connected, as part of the Wales Tech Week event, which took place June 21-25.

The launch of Photonics Connected brings together senior figures in the Welsh photonics industry to identify new opportunities to connect, collaborate, and expand the country’s £700 million ($974.33 million) photonics industry, acting as a go-to network for organizations within Wales and the United Kingdom.

The announcement of the new organization was unveiled as part of a dedicated photonics industry day at Wales Tech Week. The organization launches 25 years after the Welsh Optoelectronics Forum, which has operated since 1996.

Alongside the launch of the network, Wales launched its Photonics Leadership Council, which will work to provide a unified voice for the Welsh photonics industry to develop a global brand of Welsh photonics. The council is composed of U.K. experts in technology, academia, and business support services.

The founding members are council Chair Louise Jones, knowledge transfer manager at KTN; Caroline Gray, professor of enterprise, engagement, and knowledge transfer at Wrexham Glyndwr University and director of the Centre for Photonics Excellence; Avril Lewis MBE, managing director of Technology Connected; Howard Rupprecht, director of strategic development (Europe) at Rockley Photonics; and John Lincoln, director at Harlin and chief executive of the Photonics Leadership Group.

There are currently an estimated 69,000 people working in the U.K.’s £13.5 billion ($18.79 billion) photonics sector, which has seen a growth of roughly 9% over the past two years. The photonics industry currently employs about 4000 people in Wales.

Published: June 2021
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