On Tuesday 2 May 2017, Technology Scotland and the Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics were delighted to host their first Scottish Photonics Reception at Holyrood.
Over 110 industry and academic representatives descended on Holyrood’s impressive (and sunny!) Member’s Room to hear about Scotland’s strong capability and proud history in Photonics as well as the sector’s significant potential for growth. In addition, there was wide, cross-party political support from multiple MSPs including host, John Scott MSP and cabinet ministers Keith Brown MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, and Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy.
A series of brief presentations from Ian Blewett, Scottish Enterprise, Stephen Taylor, CEO Technology Scotland, and Simon Andrews, Director Fraunhofer UK, showcased the global potential of the Photonics industry and emphasised Scotland’s ability to exploit this through a strong network of companies, universities and supporting organisations. Attendees were challenged to ‘be noisy’, collaborate, and communicate with an aim to double the size of the sector in Scotland within the next 5 years.
Technology Scotland’s CEO, Stephen Taylor, said: “Photonics based companies in Scotland enjoy some £1.5Bn in revenues, and tonight we throw down the challenge to the community and all stakeholders to double the sector within five years. This ambitious target can be made possible by leveraging Scotland’s world leading research and manufacturing capabilities, coupled with the support available through organisations such as Technology Scotland. We call on the entire community to come together and join us as a member so we can collectively begin to identify and address the challenges and barriers to make this happen”.
Following the talks, the reception gave way to networking and an opportunity to view a number of impressive demonstrations from industry. We were thrilled to witness such a buzz amongst the photonics sector, as attendees re-connected with old colleagues and forged new relationships. The evening culminated in an opportunity for all attendees to take a tour of the Parliament debating chamber with our host, John Scott MSP.
“The event tonight has been a real showcase of Scotland’s Photonics capabilities”, said Chris Dorman, Vice President of Coherent Scotland and Chair of the Scottish Optoelectronics Association. “It is exciting to see so many here promoting the sector and hugely enjoyable to reconnect with familiar faces across the industry. Scotland has a long history of global leadership in photonics, and there is a growing and vibrant eco-system of laser and optoelectronics companies. It’s an exciting time to work in this area, and with the new impetus provided to the community through Technology Scotland, I’m confident we’ll continue to see more success in the coming years”.
About Technology Scotland
Technology Scotland is the leading cluster organisation for industry, academia, and other institutes engaged in the Emerging & Enabling (E&E) Technology sectors in Scotland, including advanced materials, electronics, nanotechnology, photonics, and advanced manufacturing.
We bring like-minded companies together to solve problems, drive economic development, and build supply chains. In addition, Technology Scotland provides a range of services including events, workshops, Special Interest Groups, and collaborative networking, to help its membership improve their global competitiveness.
Technology Scotland also acts as a conduit for members to and from government agencies, and to the Technology Advisory Group within Scottish Enterprise.
About Fraunhofer CAP
Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics has quickly established itself as a critical asset in the Scottish photonics landscape. Playing a key role in the translation of Quantum Technologies, with a range of Scottish SME’s and ESA, it also engages with a wide variety of sectors, demonstrates complete optical systems and provides excellent international connections. As a flexible, external applied R and D provider, it will be shaping its future expertise offering based on the needs and ambitions of the Scottish industrial cluster and works closely with Technology Scotland on creating opportunities for all.