SPIE sets it sights on Wales

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Wales has developed resources and networks ideal for enabling innovation in optoelectronics, Welsh First minister and Assembly Member Rhodri Morgan told attendees at conferences on Remote Sensing and Security+Defence, sponsored by SPIE Europe, at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, last week.

With those strengths, organisers found the region to be a fitting location for last week’s conferences.

‘Wales has been quite remarkable in recent years in developing a reputation for high technology,’ said SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs. ‘The obvious support for the industries of the future and the thought that has gone into viable economic planning for an increasingly competitive world say much about the foresight of Welsh leadership’ 

In his talk at the conference opening session, First Minister Morgan told how Technium OpTIC — ‘one of the jewels in the crown’ of Wales’ Technium business incubation and support centres —and the universities and industry throughout Wales have demonstrated the ability to work together and move quickly, to the benefit of industry and investors.

In all, 750 researchers and innovators from around the world attended technical sessions and an exhibition showcasing photonics applications developments for the defence industry. The Lord Mayor of the City and County of Cardiff, Councillor Kate Lloyd, joined attendees at a welcome reception early in the week.

Plenary speakers included: Frances Saunders, UK Defence Science and Technology Lab; Jim Ironside, General Dynamics UK; Waleed Abdalati, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr; and Richard Holdaway, Rutherford Appleton Lab.