The Centre for Advanced Photonics & Process Analysis (CAPPA) is at the forefront of photonics research in Ireland. Photonics is the study of the generation and manipulation of light, and is an important enabling technology for a wide range of applications. In 2011, the world market for photonics products was €350 billion, some €65 billion of which was produced in Europe. This has led to photonics being identified as one of six Key Enabling Technologies underpinning the European Union’s Horizon 2020 funding programme.
CAPPA is a research centre of Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), conducting both applied and fundamental research on photonics for applications in areas as diverse as telecommunications, medical devices, food and pharmaceutical manufacturing. A number of CAPPA personnel are also co-located in the Tyndall National Institute under the CIT@Tyndall partnership.
The activities of CAPPA have two main foci:
Innovation for Industry – CAPPA provides photonics solutions to companies in sectors such as photonics, medical devices, food and pharma, on scales from short-term consultancy to multi-year collaborative projects. This is primarily driven through the Enterprise Ireland-funded CAPPA Technology Gateway.
Advanced Research – CAPPA conducts internationally-recognised academic research on topics such as the non-linear dynamics of lasers and ultrafast laser physics, and the understanding of the dynamics of novel semiconductor materials and devices. This is supported by grants from agencies such as SFI, HEA and the EU.
- 19 full-time researchers, 12 postgraduate researchers.
- Currently engaged with various Irish, European and International companies.
- In receipt of funding from Enterprise Ireland, SFI, HEA and EU.
- A member of key national consortia: I-PIC and INSPIRE.
- Collaborating internationally with 11 of the top 100 universities.
A Brief History of CAPPA
In September 2006, Dr. Guillaume Huyet joined the Dept. of Applied Physics & Instrumentation at CIT and established what was then called the Photonic Device Dynamics Group. The group emerged from the Optoelectronics & Non-Linear Dynamics group of University College Cork (now the Laser Physics Group), but retained a presence in the Tyndall National Institute. The group’s research was based around Principal Investigator funding from Science Foundation Ireland, with a strong track record in the understanding of semiconductor laser physics and photonic devices.
In 2007, the group was awarded funding from Enterprise Ireland to establish an Applied Research Enhancement centre, with a specific remit to provide photonics solutions to regional and national industry. The centre specifically targetted companies in the pharmaceutical and medical devices sectors, where the full potential of photonics technologies had not yet been fully recognised. This ARE centre was given the name CAPPA – Centre for Advanced Photonics & Process Analysis.
Over the next 5 years, both the industry-targeted activities and the academic research of the group continued to strengthen and expand, developing links with over 30 national and international companies, publishing over 50 journal papers, and achieving over €8M funding, including a number of European FP7 projects (2 as coordinator). The group was awarded funding for a CAPPA Technology Gateway, the follow-on programme for the ARE centres, and Dr. Huyet was awarded his third consecutive SFI Principal Investigator grant.
In 2014, the CAPPA name was rebranded as the umbrella title for all the group’s activities, combining both the fundamental science and industry-focused research strands of the group, as well as consolidating activities based on the main CIT campus and within the Tyndall National Institute.