The University of Southampton


We foster a strong culture of innovation at the ORC, forging close industry links. Our work is recognised globally as innovative and transformative across a range of technologies including silicon photonics, fibre lasers, and advanced materials, for applications in a wide range of industries including defence, manufacturing, healthcare, oil and gas, and telecommunications.

Working with us

We have strong relationships with industry both in the UK and internationally, providing support through joint research projects, consultancy, commercialisation of research, knowledge transfer and use of our facilities.

The image above shows just a handful of the companies we have collaborated with in our long history. For small companies that don't have their own research and development departments, having an academic collaborator can generate new ideas and embed knowledge directly into a workforce. We are always open to new and interesting collaborations where a combination of expertise may be mutually beneficial. The areas that we are currently working on can be fully explored through our Research Group pages. We are also interested in exploring new areas, and not all of our most recent research directions are listed. You may also find it helpful to visit our facilities pages where you will find in-depth information about our state-of-the-art equipment and cutting-edge clean room complex. 

If you would like to make an enquiry about working with us, please contact Business Development Manager, Amir Kayani. 

For further information about working with us, and the University in general, please visit the University's Research and Innovation Services web pages here.


PhotonHub is a pan-European photonics digital innovation hub to help SMEs and mid-caps become highly competitive digital businesses through faster and smarter deployment of photonics-based technologies. From the UK, both the University of Southampton and the CPI have partnered with this initiative.

PhotonHub could provide funding to enable collaborative proof of concept projects preferably with non-photonics industry partners. This would typically fund projects between €10k-€100k in value. In order to be eligible, projects must have a significant element of cross-border (European) working.

In addition, the European Photonics Innovation Academy works with over 50 top competence centres of the PhotonHub technology support partners who together cover the broadest possible range of photonics technologies, to offer a dedicated suite of training services.

Further details regarding applying for PhotonHub funding or exploring training opportunities are accessible via the CPI and PhotonHub websites.

Spin-out companies

We have been extraordinarily successful in our commercial endeavours and there are over ten companies in the Southampton area with their roots in the ORC, creating a ‘Light Valley’ of successful photonics companies. We maintain strong links with our spin-outs who sponsor research and PhD students, providing a route through to the marketplace for new ideas, applications and technology. These companies also have significant economic impact in the areas in which they operate, often providing jobs for hundreds of people. ORC spin-out companies include:

  • Lumenisity – Develops advanced fibre optic cable solutions
  • CHG Southampton- Launched to develop and exploit commercial opportunities of novel glasses, in particular chalcogenide materials
  • Covesion - Develops and sells non-linear optical technologies based on PPLN
  • Fianium (now NKT Photonics)  - Fibre laser company manufacturing and developing ultra-fast, high power laser systems
  • Fibercore - Manufactures and supplies speciality optical fibre
  • Highfield Diagnostics - a revolutionary concept in the world of point-of-care diagnostics 
  • Mesophotonics - Photonic crystal technology in the fields of microphotonics, telecommunications and computing
  • Photon Kinetics - A leading supplier of measurement solutions for the optical fibre, cable and component manufacturing industry
  • Point Source - (Qioptiq, Hamble) Designs and manufactures high performance fiber optic laser delivery systems and lasers for commercial applications in biotechnology and semiconductor manufacturing
  • Sensa - The world’s leading provider of fiber optic temperature sensing solutions
  • Smart Fibres - Optical fiber sensor solutions for testing, design validation, condition monitoring and smart structures
  • Southampton Photonics Inc - Develops and manufactures high power fibre lasers for a wide variety of marking and micromachining applications
  • Stratophase - Optical solutions via laser wavelength conversion and integrated optical circuit technology, particularly Bragg gratings
Marco Petrovich

Lumenisity interview

Professor Marco Petrovich shares the world-leading research behind the revolutionary technology and the rewards of running a successful start-up.

Read the interview

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