Photonics expertise for West Midlands SMEs


Photonics is a science and technology platform based on the use of photons (particles of light), with applications including: telecommunications, data storage, optical metrology, optical imaging, bio-photonics, medical diagnostics, broadband communications, manufacturing, displays, healthcare, sensing, lighting, biosciences and many others.

Support for businesses

Any West Midlands SME currently has the opportunity to access the expertise at Aston with two days of consultancy absolutely free of charge. The vast range of applications from telecommunications to welding and engraving could benefit your business, and this free consultancy can help you discover how.
  • Two days of free consultancy
  • Improve current practice of photonics technology
  • Find out how photonics could be used for the first time
  • Access world-class expertise at zero cost 
To arrange a meeting

or to get more information contact Dr Kaiming Zhou on k.zhou@aston.ac.uk 

Photonics banner


Markets that can benefit from photonic technology:

  • Information and communication
  • Entertainment
  • Mobility and transport
  • Illumination and energy
  • Pollution and conservation
  • Food 
  • Life sciences & health care 
  • Water 
  • Safety & Security 
  • Manufacturing  


ERDF funding

The Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies (AIPT), is currently running a programme funded by the European Regional Development fund to promote and support photonic technology in the West Midlands region by offering free consultancy to SMEs. 

This is an opportunity to find out about how light based technologies – such as lasers, fibre optics and spectroscopy - could be useful to your company in ways you might not have expected. The AIPT team are happy to visit you on site and discuss if photonic technology can help address issues and strengthen business areas. With mutual agreement, AIPT are able to offer resources for initial investigations at no cost to you. 

Fibre optics and laser sensing Technology: Phase II

Aston University Sensing technology can
  • Monitor strain & temperature throughout composite structures
  • Monitor vibrations
  • Measure high-resolution temperature or strain profiles of key parts
  • Monitor flow, level detection or proximity alarms
  • Monitor vibrations

Businesses assisted include:

Malvern Optical
Geotechnical Instruments
Creating Dimensions
Eastern Direct Business
Raison Foster Associates
LED (UK) ltd
Helping & Co
Cox Turner Morse
BTI test and inspection

Arden Photonics, Cable Detection, AAC Eurovent
Applied Functional Materials,  Actatek (UK)
Fisher Leak System, BBN
LivingStone Technology Management,  Branscan
Malvern Modulators, Chamois Metrology,ICE (UK)
Sencon,BK Consultants,Malvern Optical
Grontmij, Micro Metrology 2000,Gas Data
Hawker Electronics,  Astasense
David Symond Association and more. 
  • Measure wear on test components
  • Check critical design parameters during design phase & understand how full-size structures operate
  • Monitor temperatures up to at least 600°c
  • Allow very high precision monitoring of pressure through Interferometric sensors


Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research