University of Strathclyde 

Excellence, innovation and entrepreneurship in photonics

The UK's largest academic centre for translational research and education in photonics, home to an internationally recognised photonics ecosystem which has been developed over more than three decades, including the UK's first and only Fraunhofer Centre. 

The University of Strathclyde is home to an internationally recognised photonics ecosystem. Developed over more than three decades it has a highly-developed research community which is working at scale on the leading edge of technology, and translation to practical application.

Its academics boast a strong track-record of enterprise and commercialisation through institutional support for significant numbers of spin-out companies in the field. By embedding a close working relationship with industry, a culture where staff are comfortable working across all technology readiness levels has emerged. In this environment, collaboration and innovation have flourished and companies have clustered and thrived in the wider Strathclyde ecosystem.

Through the University’s extensive teaching programmes for undergraduate, masters, PhD and early career researchers, a sustainable and high-quality talent pipeline supplies the sector. This is one of the key elements of a distinctive ability to accelerate the ‘pull’ for research by industry and the ‘push’ of new ideas into industry.

The University was an early pioneer of the photonics field, recognising its importance through the creation of an established Chair in Photonics in 1982, which is believed to be the first of its kind in the UK. Since then, the focus has been on distinctive innovation and research that can translate to major societal impact and economic benefit.

The University has worked with local, devolved and national governments, industry and enterprise agencies as partners and enablers to boost economic growth. Through long-term strategic investment and a series of major and foresighted high risk/high return initiatives, including launching the Institute of Photonics in 1995, the Institution has created a cluster of photonics researchers and industry partners that totals in excess of 230 people, making it one of the largest in the UK. It is also home to the UK’s first and only Fraunhofer Centre to facilitate translation of the cutting-edge research.