The School is very active in translating its research into impact that brings tangible benefits to a wide variety of end-users outside academia. Its interdisciplinary centres encourage translating results from fundamental research to other disciplines and provide points of contact for industry. The School's philosophy is to treat impact-related activities on an equal footing with research and teaching. The School supports staff to work on impact-related activities in several ways including a dedicated School impact fund and providing impact-leave sabbaticals.
The School has a track record in forming spin-out companies to commercialise its research including PhotoSynergy Ltd. (delivering Lightpath® safety lighting to deep sea divers), Ambicare Health Ltd. (global suppliers of wearable light sources for medical and consumer healthcare), Razorbill Instruments Ltd. (supplying ultra-precise nano-positioning devices to the international research community) and Bespoke Photonics Ltd. (commercialising novel methods for imaging through turbid media).
The School also enjoys long-standing close collaborations with UK companies who commercialise its research including M Squared Lasers Ltd. and M Squared Life Ltd. (laser technology and high-resolution 3D optical imaging) and Thomas Keating Ltd. (millimetre wave antennas and quasi-optical instrumentation) each of which have global customer bases for these products. Of the several hundred patent applications filed by and granted to members of the School, over three-quarters are licensed to external companies. Key successes of this type include laser and optical instrumentation and organic semiconductor materials for displays.
Below you will find example case studies of successful impact from research and brief descriptions of some of the School's many ongoing impact activities.
Products from PhotoSynergy Ltd. use side emitting optical fibres to bring safety benefits to deep sea divers.
Spin-out company Ambicare Health Ltd. produce medical devices to combat widespread skin conditions such as acne and to treat skin cancer.
Razorbill Instruments Ltd., a School spin out, commercialise nano-manipulators for low-temperature science.
3D optical imaging technique commercialised for applications in cell biology.
Developing thin-film polymer sensors for trace chemical detection of minefields and IEDs.
High performance millimetre wave feedhorn antennas commercialised for applications in spectroscopy, metrology and satellite remote sensing.