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Optoelectronics Research Centre – a world leader in photonics for over 29 years

Optoelectronics Research Centre

The UK has world leading photonics clusters across the country from Scotland to Oxford and Southampton. The Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) at the University of Southampton is a world leader in photonics, optical telecommunication, optical materials and high-power lasers. EPSRC has supported the Centre through long-term investments dating back four decades, totalling over £20 million. This has been complemented by major investments from industrial partners such as Microsoft, Pirelli, Rockley Photonics and SPI Lasers.

ORC staff have founded 11 companies, generating revenue in excess of £200m and creating over 600 jobs. The centre has developed a suite of technologies at the cutting edge of global manufacturing, healthcare and commerce. Its fibre lasers are in use worldwide, cutting inch thick steel, welding cars in state-of-the-art factories, performing delicate eye surgery, and even marking the date on the fruit we buy in the supermarket.

More than one billion internet users now exchange over 2,000 petabytes of data every month. Most of this travels through optical amplifiers invented at the ORC.