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Bristol-based Startup, Light Trace Photonics, Awarded £50k Innovation Prize to Develop a Cutting-edge Photonics Education Device

Insider Brief:

  • QantX has awarded Light Trace Photonics a £50,000 Blavatnik Prize for Innovation to support the development of their device for training the next generation of photonic engineers.
  • Light Trace Photonics is a startup pioneering integrated photonics — microchips capable of routing and manipulating light.
  • Light Trace Photonics’ CEO, Dr Jake Biele, says the photonics industry has the potential to dwarf the electronics industry, however, few students are even familiar with the word photonics when they start university, let alone photonic chips. His company’s job is to inspire students into a photonic engineering career by introducing them to photonic chips in a fun and interactive way, ultimately helping prepare them for industry with the skills they will need to develop innovative & deployable technologies that can help tackle major issues.

Light Trace Photonics, co-founded by Bristol University Alumni Dr Jake Biele (CEO) and Dr Dominic Sulway (CTO), is a startup pioneering integrated photonics — microchips capable of routing and manipulating light. Their mission is to use photonic chips to unlock the full potential of photonics in providing efficient, deployable solutions to major issues including the climate crisis, mounting NHS pressures and lagging productivity.

The UK’s Photonic Leadership Group predicts that the photonics industry will provide an additional 150,000 highly skilled jobs and become one of the UK’s top three most productive manufacturing sectors by 2035. However, the industry is currently facing a skills shortage which threatens the commercialisation of technologies that hold great promise for tackling
these issues. This prize will help fund the development of Light Trace Photonics’ first product, an educational device which uses photonic chips to tackle this shortage.

Akin to the Raspberry Pi, Light Trace Photonics’ device will bring previously complex experimentation out of the lab and into the classroom where students can assemble their own photonic systems whilst learning the basics of how to program photonic chips.

Light Trace Photonics’ CEO, Dr Jake Biele, says:

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“The photonics industry has the potential to dwarf the electronics industry, however, few students are even familiar with the word photonics when they start university, let alone photonic chips. Our job is to inspire students into a photonic engineering career by introducing them to photonic chips in a fun and interactive way. In doing so, we help prepare them for industry with the skills they will need to develop innovative & deployable technologies that can help tackle major issues.”

We’re thankful to QantX for their support, and look forward to working with them on our quest to unlock the full potential of photonics one chip at a time.”

QantX CEO, Richard Haycock, says:

“As the world develops new technologies at an exponential rate, photonics is emerging as a critical enabler of innovation and progress. By harnessing the power of light, photonics is driving advances in communication, sensing, computing, and more. Light Trace Photonics have impressed us with their long-term vision of integrated photonics and we are delighted
to support them with a Blavatnik Prize for Innovation.”

 — END — 

About Light Trace Photonics
Light Trace Photonics (LTP) was co-founded by University of Bristol Alumni Dr Jake Biele (CEO) and Dr Dominic Sulway (CTO) who both have PhDs in Quantum Engineering from the Quantum Engineering Center for Doctoral Training. LTP are experts in photonic chips and are on a mission to tackle the shortage of photonics engineers in the UK by developing devices
that help introduce photonics to undergraduate-level students using photonic chips.

LTP has previously been awarded an Innovate UK Fast Start grant which helped us get the company going in December last year. In addition, Jake has been awarded Innovate UK’s Young Innovator award 2021/22 which recognises young people with great business ideas who have the potential to become successful entrepreneurs and future leaders in innovation. The University of Bristol has also awarded LTP with funding from its Jim & Peggy Wilkinson foundation to help purchase equipment for our labs here in Bristol.

About QantX
QantX is a leading venture capital firm focused on software innovation with a mission to support and accelerate the growth of early-stage startups that leverage cutting-edge technologies to create a positive impact on society. QantX invests in groundbreaking companies across industries, providing them with the capital, mentorship, and resources
they need to succeed.

SOURCE: Light Trace Photonics

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