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Photonics Catalyst Program

Building Photonics based collaborations between Industry and the University of Adelaide.

The Photonics Catalyst Program (PCP), a joint initiative between Department of State Development and IPAS connects South Australian Industry with emerging laser and sensor technologies capable of transforming their businesses. It creates a South Australian based ecosystem of expertise and capabilities in photonics supporting the development of cutting-edge photonic products through unique project based collaborations between researchers, industry, end-users and government.

The Program facilitates the development of advanced photonic devices by coordinating the efforts of key stakeholders. It provides funding mechanisms for engagement, the development of prototypes, testing of photonic devices and the adoption of new light based technologies. We have a particular focus on finding solutions, creating new products and advanced manufacturing opportunities for South Australia.

South Australia’s photonics research and innovation is driving the development of a range of new technologies across defence, medicine, agriculture and mining. The Program will fund projects that will boost University and Industry interactions allowing local Industry access to cutting edge expertise, equipment, capabilities and technologies.

Participants in the PCP will receive a commercial and technical feasibility assessment of their project and up to $45,000 worth of research and development services to assist with the development of their new photonics product or prototype.

  • How to Engage with the Program

    If you are interested in finding out more about how researchers at the Photonics Catalyst Program can assist you please complete the contact form.

  • What is Photonics?

    Photonics is the science and technology that allows the generation and control of light. Modern photonics began with the invention of the laser in 1960. By the late 1970’s, the impact of photonics in telecommunications was facilitated by the perfection of low-loss optical fibres for long haul communications.

    Today, South Australian photonics research is driving the development of new technologies to underpin transformations in manufacturing, health, mining, agriculture and the environment.

    Photonics gives us new tools for measurement – including ultra-fast, sensitive and portable sensors to support decision making, and new light sources for use in material processing and medical treatments.

    Adelaide has an extensive base of Photonics expertise – in our university sector and in key industries, much of which grew from fundamental research at the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO). Local companies whose world leading products are based on photonics include: BAE Systems, Ellex and Maptek.

  • What is IPAS?

    The Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS) is a global hub of Photonics research. The Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS) led by Professor Tanya Monro at the University of Adelaide with links with companies and Universities on almost every continent.

    The 185 researchers at IPAS develop novel photonic, sensing and measurement technologies that are creating new tools for scientific research and stimulating the creation of new industries.

    Technologies being developed at IPAS include:

    • novel glasses and optical fibres
    • optical fibre-based sensors
    • fibre, solid-state, planar waveguide and supercontinuum lasers
    • precision timing signals
    • laser radar for water vapour, methane and wind
    • radiation detection 

    The Institute is supported by modern infrastructure and has an innovation driven culture. Our engagement with industry engagement ranges from solving specific end-user problems to providing access to cutting-edge manufacturing infrastructure for proof of concept materials and prototype devices.

Our partner in the Photonics Catalyst Program

Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing

North Terrace Campus
The Braggs Building
The University of Adelaide
Adelaide SA 5005


T: +61 8 8313 9254

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