top research teams at the University of Southampton
have this week secured a funding boost worth over £11
million between them. The two research groups, working
in NanoPhotonics and Photonics, were among six groups
nationwide to receive long-term funding support under
the Portfolio Partnerships initiative launched by Lord
is the only university to receive two of the new batch
of Portfolio Partnerships, securing over half the
£22 million funding awarded in this round.
Partnerships have been introduced by the Engineering
and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to
provide long-term support to top research teams with
a proven track record of achievement and sustained
support from EPSRC. Stable funding allows teams to
innovate, explore new directions in research and provides
increased opportunities to establish collaborations
Vice-Chancellor, Professor Bill Wakeham, signed the
partnership agreements on behalf of the University
this week. He commented: 'For Southampton to be awarded
two Portfolio Partnerships is excellent news. To receive
one would be impressive-to be awarded two is exceptional.
This recognises the sustained high quality of research
groups in both engineering and physical sciences at
Southampton and the high value placed on their research
by the funding body.'
Portfolio Partnership in Photonics, which is led by
Professor David Payne, Director of the University's
Optoelectronics Research Centre, is worth £7.2
million over five years.
Payne commented: 'From the day the first lasers dazzled
laboratories worldwide and the first hair-thin threads
of glass were drawn into optical fibres, researchers
at the University of Southampton have been at the
forefront of global progress in photonics.
with a team of over 180 researchers and support staff
behind it, our Portfolio Partnership based within
the Optoelectronics Research Centre is poised to carry
on surfing these light waves into the future.
research will lead to a new generation of photonic
devices having unprecedented performance and functionality
which will change our lives and expand our opportunities
as much, if not more dramatically, than the first
laser a generation ago.'
Nikolay Zheludev and Jeremy Baumberg of the University's
School of Physics and Astronomy have established a
Portfolio Partnership in NanoPhotonics. The £4.0
million supports research for the next five years
in this new field.
Baumberg commented: 'NanoPhotonics emerges when we
force light to interact with chunks of artificially
engineered matter only billionths of a metre across.
such ultra-small devices requires a committed interdisciplinary
team involving physics, chemistry and electronics,
which is world-leading at the University of Southampton.
Zheludev, Co-ordinator of the NanoPhotonics portfolio,
adds: 'NanoPhotonics promises captivating new fundamental
physics, and new mind-blowing applications in low
power, ultra-small devices performing at the quantum
edge in a wide range of technologies from information
processing, to defence, security, medicine and biotechnologies.
Our broad goals are to develop concepts of optical
functionality on the smallest possible size scale,
at the lowest possible energy level, and on the shortest
Portfolio Partnership scheme was launched in April
2003 with the announcement of eight pilot Portfolio
Partnerships with a combined value of £28 million.
Building on the scheme's success, the six new Portfolio
Partnerships launched this week have been funded with
a total value of £22 million.
six new Portfolio Partnerships are:
* NanoPhotonics Portfolio Partnership (University
* Portfolio Partnership in Photonics (University of
* Novel Quantum Order in Interacting Electron Metals
(University of Bristol, University of Cambridge and
University of St Andrews)
* Portfolio Partnership in Complex Fluids and Complex
Flows (University of Wales Swansea and University
of Wales, Aberystwyth)
* Portfolio Partnership on Modelling of Transport
and Dynamics in Mesoscale Systems (Lancaster University)
* Complex Material Discovery (University of Liverpool)
1. Photonics is the merging of physics, optics, electronics,
chemistry and materials science to develop newer,
faster and more powerful ways of exploiting the properties
of light. In the past few decades, the application
of light, through optical fibres, lasers and new materials
has had an enormous impact on almost every facet of
our lives. Photonics powers the internet, welds and
cuts steel, manipulates and sorts bio cells, detects
intruders and navigates airliners.
The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching
and research institution with a global reputation
for leading-edge research and scholarship. The University
has around 20,000 students and nearly 5000 staff.
Its annual turnover is in the region of £270
further information and digital images contact:
University of Southampton
023 8059 3807