The UK is globally recognised as strong in Photonics. However its Photonics sector is fragmented and the size and sectors of interest have not previously been established. The UK government has instigated the formation of the Photonics Knowledge Transfer Network (PKTN) to bring the Photonics community together.
The UK features in Defence & Security; Communications; Measurement; Medical Technology; Lighting; Solar Energy; Information Technology and Flat Panels. This expertise is scattered through out the UK in geographic areas each with a breadth of Photonic interests. The PKTN has mapped the UK capability in all Photonics sectors.
This paper will present the capability of the Companies, Research Institutions and Infrastructure making up the Defence & Security Photonics scene in the UK. Large Defence companies in the UK are well known throughout the world. However, there are a large number of SMEs, which may not be as well known in the supply chain. These are being actively encouraged by the UK MoD to engage with the Defence & Security Market and shall be discussed here.
The presentation will reference a number of organisations which help to fund and network the community, such as the Defence Technology Centres. In addition the Roadmap for Defence & Security in the UK, produced for the UK Photonics Strategy (July 2006) by the Scottish Optoelectronics Association will be described and the plans in taking it forward under the PKTN will be revealed.