Photonics is the science and technology of light. This includes lasers, optical systems and components, as well as fibre optics. Photonics is a £13.5 billion industry in the UK, with the technology used across various UK industries and in society, from optical communications and data storage to laser sensors for autonomous vehicles.

The Innovate UK Business Connect Enabling Technologies team supports 1,500+ photonics and photonics-enabled companies, and the vibrant UK photonics research base in the UK.

Our people create connections between photonics professionals and end-users in various sectors, from healthcare to AgriFood. This helps them fast-track the innovative technologies they’re working on.

We support the growth of UK photonics and are determined to promote the sector widely. We do this by working with photonics and related stakeholder groups and associations across the UK.

Our team has a deep expertise including photonics, laser, fibre, optical, optics, photovoltaic and imaging.

Innovate UK Business Connect is a partner in the European project that supports the Photonics21 platform. Photonics21 aims to establish Europe as a leader in the development of photonics technologies within applications fields such as ICT, lighting, industrial manufacturing, life science, safety, education and training.

We are proud to have contributed to the groundbreaking horizon scanning report “Future horizons for photonics research 2030 and beyond”, released in September 2020 by the Photonics Leadership Group (PLG) and the All-Party Parliamentary Group in Photonics and Quantum. We used our experience of online collaboration to support PLG in bringing together online 26 of the UK’s leading photonics researchers from 20 different institutions to ask “what will be the focus of photonics research a decade and more from now?”.

Our current focus in this area

Innovate UK Business Connect supports the SuperSolar Network Plus with the Head of Infrastructure acting as Chair to the Network Industrial Advisory Group. Through this group, and programmes such as Energy Catalyst as described above, we are actively brokering B2B and B2A linkages.

Related Opportunities

Eureka Quantum collaborative R&D Multilateral 2024

Opens: 05/02/2024 Closes: 08/05/2024

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £2m to develop quantum technologies with organisations from Eureka partner countries.

More Information

Innovate UK innovation loans future economy: round 13

Opens: 11/01/2024 Closes: 06/03/2024

UK registered businesses can apply for loans for innovative projects with strong commercial potential to significantly improve the UK economy.

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UK-Switzerland CR&D Round 2

Opens: 05/02/2024 Closes: 01/05/2024

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £4m for innovative projects with Swiss partners in all technologies.

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Related Events and Recordings


Photonics for...Water

10.00 - 12.00 | Online

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Photonics for...Renewable Energy

10.00 - 12.00 | Online

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Matthew Wasley

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Matthew Wasley

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