Lancaster to play key role in hi-tech market worth 49bn Euros
Lancaster University has been awarded €500,000 as part of a European programme to hothouse the next generation of researchers in an industry worth 49 billion Euros per year. Photonics – the science of light – has a huge range of applications and has been identified at strategic level as a key market for the EU.
The €4.8M programme, Postgraduate Research on Photonics as an Enabling Technology (PROPHET) is funded by the EU Marie Curie funding mechanism, which is highly competitive. Last year only 7% of applications from across the EU were successful.
There are 9 academic partners, 4 industry partners and 2 associated partners in the consortium, with Lancaster leading one of the work packages on the development of diode lasers for environmental applications as well as contributing to another work package with research on quantum dot solar cells.
Professor Tony Krier from the Department of Physics said: “This is an excellent opportunity for young researchers to undertake cutting edge research that will have impact in a number of technologically important areas”.
Fourteen PhD students and five postdoctoral researchers will be trained over four years in a wide range of skills needed for a career in the industry. These skills will be applied in four areas; mode-locked lasers for Communications Applications, solar cells for Energy Applications, gas sensing for Environment Applications, and fast tunable laser sources for Life Science Applications. Each researcher will experience both academic and commercial environments thanks to the strong industrial involvement.
The young researchers will also benefit from secondments to other network partners, including Technische Universität Berlin in Germany and Istituto per la Microelettronica e Microsistemi in Italy. All the partners have worldwide reputations as leaders in their field. They will form the core of a vibrant, European-wide network of photonics researchers, with annual training workshops, a summer school, and a final network conference.