Science minister Lord Sainsbury has launched an £11m programme to encourage new research in optical applications for IT and communications.
The programme aims to strengthen the links between universities and small to medium-sized companies, building on an area of strong UK expertise.
The new Link programme will cover applications including optical transmission systems; high-bandwidth optics for internet broadcasting; sensor and imaging technologies; compact laser systems for medical use; and a new generation of flat panel displays.
`UK business has a substantial share in the £30bn global market for optical communications,’ said Sainsbury. `In the past year alone, over 6,000 jobs have been announced in the optical and components industry.’
The DTI will provide up to £6m over five years. A further £5m will come from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and industry will contribute matching funds on a project-by-project basis.
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