Launch of Welsh training facilities

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Technium OpTIC is to be the base for two new government-funded training centres for opto-electronics: the Photonics Academy and the Integrated Knowledge Centre in Ultra Precision and Structured Surfaces.

The Photonics Academy, a new training facility for opto-electronics education and skills training based in Wales, was launched on 30 November 2006. The academy was founded in response to the fast growth of opto-electronics companies in North Wales that need highly trained workers. It has been funded with £460,000 from the Assembly Government, and is set to run courses next year.

The Photonics Academy is the brainchild of Professor Alan Shore of the University of Wales, Bangor. It will be run by a steering group made up of representatives from academia, industry and the public sector. One of the first projects to be run through the academy will be the Technicians in Opto-electronics Project, which is led by Deeside College, with much of the training activities being delivered by OpTIC.

The other training initiative, the Integrated Knowledge Centre (IKC) in Ultra Precision and Structured Surfaces, is part of an £8m project led by Cranfield University. It is an initiative, launched by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, which aims to combine world-class research and strong business partnerships by encouraging knowledge transfer between universities and industry. It is the first of two pilot IKCs in the UK.