Photonics portal in the UK--good idea

Jan. 3, 2014
UKPhotonics.org hopes to map the country's activities so that industry and academia can discover resources and collaborators.

Conard 720
Conard 720
Conard 720
Conard 720
Conard 720

I like to think that Laser Focus World is the unofficial global photonics portal for engineers and scientists, but now there's an official one serving the UK. UKPhotonics.org hopes to map the country's activities so that industry and academia can discover resources and collaborators.

The website describes itself as a "knowledge-driven portal that makes use of semantic web technologies to draw together the breadth of UK photonics research capability including: organisations, techniques, people and equipment, to facilitate collaboration in this growing industry." It is hosted by the UK EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Photonics at the University of Southampton, and is being launched to coincide with Horizon 2020, inwhich the EU Commission is calling for photonics research projects.

The organizers say they aim to automatically reuse existing resources that are naturally maintained by others, thereby avoiding the creation of yet another database that needs to be maintained. The site works by collating information from sources such as universities and industry, including the European Photonics Industry Consortium (EPIC). Data on the site is dynamic and is automatically refreshed from source. The flexible nature of the underlying Freebase technology allows for the integration of additional data sources and portal content.

The site is quite engaging, with many interesting links--for example, a Twitter feed that includes @LaserFocusWorld. If you’re interested in a particular area the best starting point is to search or browse in Capabilities & Techniques, or you can search for People by Name. You will find other jumping off points on the menu or see the Example Queries, which further illustrate how to get the most from the portal.

Related article: EPIC discusses UK photonics industry support at Photonex

About the Author

Conard Holton | Editor at Large

Conard Holton has 25 years of science and technology editing and writing experience. He was formerly a staff member and consultant for government agencies such as the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the International Atomic Energy Agency, and engineering companies such as Bechtel. He joined Laser Focus World in 1997 as senior editor, becoming editor in chief of WDM Solutions, which he founded in 1999. In 2003 he joined Vision Systems Design as editor in chief, while continuing as contributing editor at Laser Focus World. Conard became editor in chief of Laser Focus World in August 2011, a role in which he served through August 2018. He then served as Editor at Large for Laser Focus World and Co-Chair of the Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar from August 2018 through January 2022. He received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, with additional studies at the Colorado School of Mines and Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Laser Focus World, create an account today!