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UK-Russia partnership developing new photonics R&D center

06 Nov 2013

Universities of Aston and Novosibirsk establish Russian research pole for fiber-optics, lasers and nonlinear photonics.

A photonics research center dedicated to developing the latest in laser and photonic technologies will be established through a new UK and Russia university partnership. Aston University and Novosibirsk State University, Russia, both world innovators in photonics have signed a collaboration agreement to establish the Aston-NSU International Centre for Photonics in Novosibirsk.

The partnership was announced at the 11th Ministerial UK Russia Joint Committee on Science & Technology Cooperation 2013-2015 at the Royal Society in London at which a Joint Statement on enhanced cooperation in science, higher education and innovation was signed between UK Business Secretary Vince Cable and Minister Livanov, Russia’s Minister for Education & Science.

The main research and development areas of the partnership will include: development of applications for joint research funding for projects across the UK, Russia, EU and worldwide; joint experimental and theoretical research publications in photonics for international and high impact journals; PhD student exchanges and undergraduate/postgraduate research opportunities; joint scientific seminars and workshops; public engagement and outreach activities; and discussion and possible developments of double/joint research MSc and PhD degrees.

Professor Sergei Turitsyn, from Aston University's photonics research team commented; "The development of a joint research centre between two world-leading research teams, will increase our research capacity and will provide access to advanced laser science knowledge, technologies, facilities and infrastructure.

"The center will operate as a distributed laboratory with locations in UK and Russia. It is an outstanding link up which will advance our capabilities in laser technologies with positive impact on our research in long distance communications, medical sensing devices and fiber-laser science among others."

Academic-industrial links

Dr Sergei Kobtsev from Novosibirsk State University, added, "Both the UK and Russia have a strong photonics manufacturing industry base and a number of high-tech companies in the photonics field. Industry needs new knowledge-intensive photonics products and I anticipate that our new center will play a key role in linking academic knowledge with practical technological and industrial applications.”

The Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies has more than 70 active researchers and is one of the largest groups in photonics research in the UK. The team is recognized as an international leader in nonlinear photonics, high-speed optical transmission and optical processing, in fiber optic components and in fiber optic sensors.

Novosibirsk State University is known for integration of education and science and the early involvement of the students into research activities. It is a leader in education of high-level specialists in priority areas of science and technology employed within academia, universities, high-technology companies, and the innovation economy sector.

About the Author

Matthew Peach is a contributing editor to optics.org.

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