UCL Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering


EEE academic represents UCL at a UK Photonics Innovation Chain event

24 January 2022

Dr Kasia Balakier, EPSRC Fellow / Proleptic Lecturer, joined an exemplary list of panelists.


In an open discussion on the ‘UK Photonics Innovation Chain: what can we do better?’, Kasia attended in her dual position as both a representative of academia (UCL) and industry (Airbus Defence and Space).

The event, comprising key commendable members of the UK’s innovation ecosystem and representatives from industry, was hosted to consider support for translational photonics research in the UK.

Chaired by John Lincoln, UK Photonics Leadership Group, across two engaging sessions, panel members considered different perspectives on what is needed to convert world-class research and development into products in the global marketplace.

The panel also discussed ambitions to scale the UK’s photonic industry as part of a vision to create a £50bn industry by 2035 supported by 150,000 high valued employees. The audience posed many challenging questions relating to sovereign capability and the role of photonics in achieving net zero, with key questions posed by members of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Photonics and Quantum, Carol Monaghan MP and Stephen Metcalfe MP.

A discussion was hosted on what works well and where there is room to do better, a review of any gaps in the innovation chain and deliberation on the so-called ‘valley of death’, and a range of voices on industry needs.

On her role as panelist Kasia said:

It was a pleasure to participate in such an intensive and productive discussion. We covered the “big picture” as well as the practicalities needed to enhance the collaboration between academia and industry, such as particular types of meetings, placements, access to facilities, knowledge exchange, IP management and funding streams which suit the needs of such collaborations. In my role, I demonstrated that academic research and industrial applications can be complementary, so I joined the panel to report on my experience.

Additional links:
UK Photonics Leadership Group
Full list of panelists