WCU to host Aug. 14 symposium on the future of photonics

Representatives of five universities and from private business and industry will convene – some live and in person, others via videoconferencing – at Western Carolina University for a daylong symposium Tuesday, Aug. 14, on the future of photonics in North and South Carolina.

engtech_Rapid_logo_thumb07Hosted by Western’s Center for Rapid Product Realization, the symposium brings together members of the recently announced Carolinas Photonics Consortium, an inter-institutional partnership designed to help university researchers more quickly move their ideas in the emerging high-tech area of photonics from campus laboratories to the marketplace.

In addition to Western, members of the CPC are North Carolina State University, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Clemson University and Duke University. Officials from the five universities announced an agreement in June formalizing relationships among the institutions and providing the foundation for collaborative work aimed at the commercialization of photonics – or light-based technologies.

The Aug. 14 meeting at WCU will launch a project proposal program that will provide seed funding for one photonics-based project from each campus during the next year. The goal of the program is to identify top commercial prospects and provide initial funding to move concepts down the path of commercialization, said Phil Sanger, director of the Center for Rapid Production Realization, which provides technical assistance in prototyping, product testing and design expertise.

For information about CPC or the symposium, contact Jeff Conley, interim director of the consortium, at (864) 325-4700 or via e-mail at jcon@charter.net.