Duke of York is UK Patron of the International Year of Light

The Photonics Leadership Group (PLG) welcomes the announcement today that the Duke of York has agreed to become patron of the International Year of Light in the UK.

The Duke of York at Diamond Light Source.

The Duke of York at Diamond Light Source.
© Diamond Light Source

According to Dr Christopher Dorman chairman of the Photonics Leadership group, ”The international year of light 2015 will be pivotal in raising awareness of the impact of photonics and in encouraging young people to pursue the many and varied careers available in light based technologies. We hope the Duke of York’s involvement will inspire more young people to get involved with photonics and encourage more light-based technical innovation in the UK”

UK photonics companies employ over 70,000 people in 1500 firms adding £10.5 billion to the economy, predominantly in exports. Light is often described as an enabling technology having far reaching impact from the lighting our homes, to the displays in our mobile devices, the fibre optics powering the internet, the cameras in satellites, the lasers manufacturing everything from cars to heart stents.

The UK has long been a leader photonics innovation. This knowledge is now embedded in globally leading research at institutes across the UK and leveraged into innumerable products manufactured in the UK by dedicated companies exporting throughout the globe.

For the future we need to raise awareness of how and where light is and can be used. We need to inspire more young people into science and technology, fostering a new generation of engineers, innovators and entrepreneurs who understand, apply and use the full potential of light in all its forms.

The PLG welcomes The International Year of Light, significantly boosted by the Duke of York’s involvement, to help encourage UK photonics to fulfil its full potential, continue to grow and lead further innovation.


About the Photonics Leadership Group

The Photonics Leadership Group aims to:

  1. Increase the UK’s position from its current place as one of the top 5 photonics manufacturers and innovators globally.
  2. Enhance a strong and competitive photonics supply chain from basic components to high value integrated systems for applications from healthcare to defence and advanced manufacturing.
  3. Provide a clear voice for the UK photonics industry emphasising the value of photonics as an essential element in solutions to societal challenges and as a rapidly growing manufacturing industry driving significant economic growth.
  4. Maximise new photonics innovation and its commercialisation, strengthening UK industry to enhance exports and attract inward investment improving the competitiveness and growth of the UK economy.
  5. Foster continuous strategic dialogue between the photonics industry, government, academia and support agencies, in the UK and Europe, to create an efficient environment for innovation and translation into manufacturing.

Photonics encompasses all of the technologies, products and processes around the emission, manipulation and detection of light. Photonics provides the key functionality in a vast range of products e.g. fibre optics powering the internet, lasers welding safer more efficient cars, to microscopes and instrumentation essential to modern healthcare.

Photonics is a global market worth €300bn and is forecast to grow by 8-10% annually to €550bn by 2020.
Dr John Lincoln, 07970 974120,

17 Jul