The Centre for Advanced Photonics and Process Analysis (CAPPA) is delighted to be launching its new initiative forging strategic cross-campus MTU photonics research partnerships for global challenges – FoSPhoR. The project is funded by the Higher Education Authority under the Technological University Transformation Fund (TUTF) and Munster Technological University (MTU).

The FoSPhoR initiative aims to leverage photonics as an enabling technology to forge new cross campus interdisciplinary partnerships within MTU. Addressing global and societal challenges necessarily requires a holistic approach, involving skills from many different disciplines. By establishing tangible collaborations between disparate MTU research activities, FoSPhoR hopes to build a multi-skilled MTU community, which would be ideally placed to tackle these challenges.

As a key enabling technology, photonics is an ideal base from which to build these collaborations. Photonics is the science of generating, controlling and detecting light, and sits at the crossroads of several disciplines including physics, electronics, mathematics and chemistry. It provides the light-based technologies which underpin a diverse range of application areas from sensing and detection through spectroscopy and imaging right up to the lasers and fibre optics that form the backbone of the internet. The global photonics market in 2019 of €654 billion included sectors in telecommunications, dairy, agriculture, medical devices, food and pharmaceutical manufacturing.

CAPPA has a strong track record in research funding and the FoSPhoR Initiative looks to leverage this wealth of experience beyond CAPPA. It will continue to develop the established relationships CAPPA has with existing research centres, but FoSPhoR particularly focuses on building new relationships. This will include working with research groups with which CAPPA has not previously worked, new and emerging researchers and research areas, and academic staff that are looking for opportunities to become more research-active.

On launching the project Dr Niall Smith, Head of Research at MTU Cork Campus said, “We are delighted to be launching a project that focuses on cross campus interdisciplinary partnerships across MTU and look forward to seeing the outcome of this project.” The project coordinator, Dr David Williams, added, “This is an exciting opportunity to link up with researchers across MTU and build an integrated, inclusive research community. We would encourage anyone interested in working with CAPPA to come talk to us, whatever the scale of the collaboration; be it a small, two-week project or a large EU consortium, or even just to chat about funding opportunities. Keep an eye out also for more FoSPhoR events we will be running in the coming months.”

You can find out more about the FoSPhoR initiative here and more about the previous work CAPPA has conducted here.