UK Establishes Photonics Cluster

Birmingham, UK, January 10, 2002. A major step forward into consolidating the UK's position as a global player in optoelectronics has taken place; the Midlands Photonics Cluster and the UK Laser and Electro-Optics Association (UKLEO) have joined forces, integrating all members of the UKLEO into one unified Photonics Cluster.

This merger will provide excellent opportunities for respective members to work together to create a stronger single UK-wide business network for companies within the Optoelectronics and Photonics sector.

The Photonics Cluster (previously Midlands Photonics Cluster), based at Aston Science Park near Birmingham, was created to offer a focal point for photonics companies and academic institutions within the Midlands. Its success and growth led to the need for a national organization much sooner than was originally envisaged.

Glenn Barrowman, Midlands Photonics Cluster Manager, said: "There is a total commitment to the continued expansion of the Photonics Cluster, which will see the inclusion of the remaining English laser manufacturers, distributors and relevant academic institutions."

"The further integration of the cluster into defense, automotive, aerospace and healthcare sectors is a priority for the newly amalgamated Photonics Cluster, as well as the development of overseas networks for our membership."

Mike Elliot, UKLEO Council Member and Managing Director of Elliot Scientific, advised that, "Both organizations shared the aspiration to bring real commercial value to its members so a merger was the logical conclusion to the talks undertaken between the UKLEO Council and Glenn Barrowman of Midlands Photonics Cluster."

Stuart Webb, ICT Cluster Manager for Advantage West Midlands, the Regional Development Agency for West Midlands, expressed his support to the merger. "The expansion of the cluster strengthens the hub of core activities that continue to be delivered within the region. This in turn is likely to boost the competitiveness of West Midlands companies by exposing them to an increased number of more diverse business opportunities."

The merger has already brought fifty nationally recognized companies such as Coherent (UK) Ltd, Elliot Scientific, Fuji Film Electronic Publishing, Lambda Photometrics Ltd., TRW Conekt and Davin Group together.

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