The University of Southampton is an international teaching institution with a global reputation for excellence in leading-edge research. We are one of the UK’s top ten research-intensive universities, receiving over £102.3M in research grants and contracts in 2012/13, including over £14.9M from the European Commission. During FP7 Southampton participated in 318 Projects, and was ranked 17th out of all higher education organisations for the number of FP7 participations during 2007-2012.
Students from more than 130 different nations study with us and our network of university partnerships spans the globe. The University has the largest photonics group in Europe with 300-400 people involved in cutting edge research.
The Physics and Astronomy Academic Unit studies photonics, condensed matter physics and the interaction of light and matter at the quantum level. The Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) is one of the world’s leading institutes for photonics research. The ORC merges groups from Electronics and Computer Science, and Physics and Astronomy within the University. The ORC has contributed significantly to the remarkable growth of the photonics industry, including the optical telecommunication technology that underpins the internet as well as many solutions in medicine, biosciences sensing, security and manufacturing.
The University of Southampton has recently established the Zepler Institute, which brings together leading groups in photonics, nanotechnology, electronics and quantum science. As part of its core mission the University seeks to generate impact through engaging with the public, aspiring students, and new entrepreneurs. This is particularly the case for the Zepler Institute as there is a real need for skilled engineers in technologies of crucial importance to the EU such as photonics, nanoelectronics, advanced materials, and nanotechnology. By participating in this project, we are fulfilling part of this mission by reaching out to new audiences who can engage in the cutting edge science that photonics can offer.
The University of Southampton has just announced its role as The Future Photonics Hub – which combines the expertise of Southampton’s Zepler Institute and the ESPRC National III-V Centre at the University of Sheffield. The new Hub provides synergistic benefits and national leadership in manufacturing for the next-generation of photonics technologies: we work with the UK’s high-value manufacturing sector to achieve greater efficiency and improve profitability.
Our role in the PHABLABS 4.0 project would be to incorporate our cutting edge research into our workshops to help inspire a new generation of students and entrepreneurs to work with photonics.