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Opto-tech boffins large it up on Govt. grants

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Government and industry are to invest matching funds to develop optical Internet technology, Science Minister Lord Sainsbury said today.

The British Government will cough up £6 million for the research backed by a further £5 million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

But since the EPSRC is publicly funded by Government from its Science budget, in fact, it's the British taxpayer who's forking out for the whole lot.

Spin aside, the "Optical Systems for the Digital Age" programme should make advances in everything from high-bandwidth multimedia services to new generation computer systems and flat panel displays.

Lord Sainsbury said: "The UK has a world class reputation in optical technologies - our achievements include the invention of the optical fibre amplifier and light-emitting polymers. UK businesses have also succeeded gaining a substantial share in the £30 billion world market for optical communications.

"In the last year alone, over 6,000 new jobs in research and development and manufacturing have been announced in the optical systems and components industry."

The programme is designed to promote partnership in "pre-competitive research between industry and the research base". It aims to "stimulate innovation, wealth creation and improve the quality of life".

...Improve the quality of life? Come off it, who are these people trying to kid? ®

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