Scotland Week includes focus on lasers and SU2P program

April 9, 2014
During Scotland Week, Scottish external affairs Minister Humza Yousaf said that Scotland has the talent, skills, and expertise to become a global powerhouse for the laser-enabled technology industry.

On his visit to the Stanford Photonics Research Center (SPRC) at Stanford University (Stanford, CA) during Scotland Week 2014, Scottish external affairs Minister Humza Yousaf said that Scotland has the talent, skills, and expertise to become a global powerhouse for the laser-enabled technology industry. The Minister met participants in the SU2P programme, a Scottish-US collaboration that aims to create commercial opportunities from the world-class research in this field taking place at four universities in Scotland.

Yousaf also said, "Scotland's laser industry is part of a booming worldwide business. Lasers are used in everything from mobile phones to medicine, barcode scanners to Blu-Ray players. Laser-enabled technology is already hugely important to the Scottish economy, worth more than £660 million [$1.1 billion dollars] and supporting high-value manufacturing, world-class research and highly skilled jobs." Yousaf adds, "The challenge now is to maximise the commercial potential of our world-leading academic success in this field, which is what the SU2P programme aims to achieve."

Professor Allister Ferguson,professor of Photonics at the University of Strathclyde, said, "The SU2P link to Stanford has been of significant benefit to the Scottish Universities involved and to the local companies associated with the programme. It has inspired innovation and internationalisation and been transformative to careers for researchers visiting Stanford, and vice versa. With the recent grant of European funding SU2P has been able to extend to include 10 more Scottish based SMEs who are already benefiting from the opportunities that that the collaboration offers."

Thomas M. Baer, executive director of the Stanford Photonics Research Center said, "Over the past four years the SU2P program has forged a strong link between Stanford University and the photonics scientific research and entrepreneurial communities in Scotland. SU2P has benefited greatly from the extensive support of Scottish Development International and Scottish Enterprise. We all look forward to building on the foundation provided by the SU2P program."

SU2P is a collaboration between the four Scottish Universities of Glasgow, Heriot-Watt, Strathclyde, and St Andrews, together with two California-based universities, Stanford and CalTech. This commercially-oriented collaboration commenced in September 2009 and builds on substantial world-class research in photonics in Scotland’s universities and strong links to Stanford and Caltech. The Stanford Photonics Research Centre (SPRC) has participated in this formal collaboration agreement.

Scotland Week 2014 will run from April 7 -14, with Ministerial engagements taking place in New York, Toronto, Vancouver, and San Francisco. For a full programme of events and for further information on Scotland Week, please visit or keep up to date with #scotweek on Twitter.

SOURCE: The Scottish Government;

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