The Photonics Leadership Group (PLG) has been reformed, with backing from more than 50 UK photonics manufacturers, associations and research institutes.
At a meeting in London on 8 May the group stated that more than 70,000 people are directly employed in UK photonics manufacturing in an industry worth £10.5 billion to the UK economy – and it is continuing to grow at 8 to 10 per cent annually. The gross value added (a measure of output) was reported as £49,000 per employee, 40 per cent above the UK manufacturing industry average.
Christopher Dorman, of Coherent Scotland was elected chairman and John Lincoln of Harlin was appointed chief executive, with the role of leading the growth of the dynamic UK photonics industry.
UK photonics manufacturers already export an estimated 75 per cent of their output throughout the globe, and will continue to make a significant contribution to economic growth, through both the direct manufacture of photonics devices and by enabling photonics to be embedded in a wide range of end products. Photonics is an enabling technology that will increasingly provide solutions to the challenges of modern society from healthcare, to advanced manufacturing, to security and communications.
In addition to working with UK business, government and support agencies, the Photonics Leadership Group looks forward to working closely with Photonics21 and the new Public/Private Partnership in Photonics being developed with the European Commission.