What is Photonics?

Photonics is the physical science and application of light (photon) generation, detection, and manipulation through emission, transmission, modulation, signal processing, switching, amplification, and sensing.

Though covering all light’s technical applications over the whole spectrum, most photonic applications are in the range of visible and near-infrared light. The term photonics developed as an outgrowth of the first practical semiconductor light emitters invented in the early 1960s and optical fibres developed in the 1970s.

Global Market


Billion value in 2020


expected value by 2026


Compound annual growth rate between 2021-2026

Why Glasgow?

Glasgow is….

Glasgow is….

Glasgow is….


Fraunhofer UK Research Ltd, the headquarters for all UK based Fraunhofer research centres and the gateway to the Fraunhofer network was established in Glasgow in 2012. The first UK Fraunhofer research centre, the Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics was established at the same time at the University of Strathclyde to develop the UK’s most innovative research to a stage where it can be adopted by industry.

Underlining Glasgow’s strong offer in the photonics industry is the University of Strathclyde’s Institute of Photonics, established in 1995 as commercially focused research partnership between the university, industry and government specialising in advanced laser engineering, photonic materials and devices and neurophotonics.

Our Photonics Ecosystem