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UK-India fiber research wins £0.5 million

22 Jan 2007

Joint projects to investigate development and applications of Microstructured Optical Fibers.

The Optoelectronic Research Centre (ORC) at the University of Southampton is one of the recipients of the first UK-India Education and Research Initiative Major Awards announced this month by UK Chancellor Gordon Brown during his tour of India.

Southampton is part of a research consortium coordinated by City University, London, and including Strathclyde, Nottingham and Heriot Watt Universities. The consortium will be conducting research with the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. The UKIERI major award of £0.5 million is for four years and is one of only six granted.

The funds support collaboration between UK and Indian research teams in areas of interest and benefit to both countries, and are part of the biggest ever education initiative between the two countries. A total of over £5 million was awarded to teams from over 70 institutions in the UK and India.

The collaborative research project aims to exploit the potential of Microstructured Optical Fibers (MOFs), one of the newest concepts in fiber optics, to come up with new technologies to underpin the multi-billion pound industry of optical communications and measurement systems.

MOFs are similar in size to a human hair, but have tiny holes running down their entire length giving them remarkable properties, such as the ability to generate intense white light for use in movie projectors. Southampton has pioneered the development of MOF technology and in the project will design, develop and fabricate novel fibers and materials for use in for a variety of applications, such as ultra high speed switching for "next-generation" telecoms.

David Payne, director of the ORC, said, "This new international research collaboration, in which Southampton is a major player, will seek solutions to contemporary and topical research problems associated with our increasing need for high-speed global telecommunications."

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