daily coverage of the optics & photonics industry and the markets that it serves
Photonics World

Scottish Optoelectronics Association rebrands as Photonics Scotland...

18 Apr 2019

...and publishes strategic paper Photonics in Scotland: A Vision for 2030, with aim of trebling its "billion pound" value.

In with the new.

In with the new.

The Scottish Optoelectronics Association (SOA), has launched its strategic paper Photonics in Scotland: A Vision for 2030, and simultaneously announced it is rebranding itself as Photonics Scotland.

The paper announced last week by Derek Mackay MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy & Fair Work in The Scottish Government, sets out a series of recommendations designed to “secure Scotland’s position on the future international stage, supporting a vision to treble the size of Scotland’s Photonics Sector by 2030,” commented Technology Scotland.

The recommendations include developing a workforce to meet future demand from the photonics-related industries, ensuring the essential talent and expertise required for future growth. This includes recommendations to significantly increase the number of undergraduate places in Scotland within relevant subject areas, a new Women in Photonics initiative, and the creation of a Scottish Photonics Academy.

Mark Western, Technology Sector Team Leader at Scottish Enterprise commented, “Scottish Enterprise recognises the high level of ambition shown by the Scottish photonics industry in this new strategy. The sector is among the most innovative and internationalised in Scotland, providing high-value jobs and supporting many other sectors through its cutting-edge technology, such as healthcare, digital communications and energy.”

The SOA last week celebrated its 25th anniversary at a reception in Glasgow, coinciding with the launch of Photonics Scotland, as part of Scottish Photonics Week. This series of events included the European Photonics Industry Consortia (EPIC) AGM, which took place at the Technology and Innovation Centre at the University of Strathclyde.

Chris Dorman, chair of Photonics Scotland, commented, “After consultation with our membership and other stakeholders, it became clear that evolving our name was the appropriate move to reflect the sector in 2019 and beyond. The new identity will build upon a history of innovation and expertise, while reflecting the excellent work being done in Scotland.”

Executive Summary

The Executive Summary of the newly published Photonics In Scotland paper states, “The global photonics market is set to grow rapidly over the coming decades, accelerated by unprecedented demand for photonics-enabled technologies across multiple market sectors.

“Scotland has a long and distinguished history in this field, punching above its weight in a globally competitive market for over a century, built on an internationally recognised academic base and a thriving industry cluster. Today Scottish Photonics is a one billion pound industry supporting over 4,000 high-value jobs in a range of vertical sectors.

“This paper sets out a series of recommendations that will secure Scotland’s position on the future international stage. At the heart of these recommendations is a vision to treble the size of Scotland’s Photonics Sector by 2030.”


  • Ensure 40% growth in the number of engineering and physical sciences undergraduate places at Scottish Universities by 2030
  • Inspire the next generation of photonics professionals through a coordinated National Photonics Initiative
  • Encourage greater diversity within Scotland’s Photonics workforce through a new Women in Photonics initiative
  • Establish a Scottish Photonics Academy to develop specific technical and commercial expertise identified by employers within the sector
  • Establish a Photonics Growth Pool to encourage early engagement between experienced market leaders and young entrepreneurial researchers
  • Maximise value from existing and future translational assets within the sector
  • Create new partnerships and collaborations through improved access to key partners within Scotland’s local supply chain
  • Accelerate product realisation by encouraging early engagement with Scotland’s public sector
  • Promote Scotland’s sector on an international level through the creation of a Photonics Scotland brand
Mad City Labs, Inc.LaCroix Precision OpticsSPECTROGON ABHÜBNER PhotonicsAlluxaCHROMA TECHNOLOGY CORP.Universe Kogaku America Inc.
© 2024 SPIE Europe
Top of Page