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Photonics Industry

Volume 718: debated on Tuesday 12 July 2022

My hon. Friend will be aware that photonics is one of the seven technology families highlighted in the innovation strategy with the absolute intention of showing and developing its domestic potential and the exports possibilities.

I thank the Secretary of State for his response, but he will know that photonics is completely undervalued across the United Kingdom and that south Devon is home to a large contingent of the photonics sector. With that in mind, can I invite him or presumably his successor, if I am allowed to say that, to the iMAPS—International Microelectronics Assembly and Packaging Society—conference on 18 October to safeguard and flag up the photonics sector?

My hon. Friend will appreciate that in the current circumstances 18 October is a very long time away, but of course I will do my best to attend that conference.

As chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on photonics and quantum, I am well aware of the huge success of the UK photonics sector, but its future depends on a thriving semiconductor industry based here in the UK. The UK has that capability, but we need the semiconductor strategy. Could the Secretary of State update the House on when we can expect to see that strategy?

By a curious anomaly, the semiconductor strategy is fully owned by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, so that question could be directed to it, but I am grateful that the hon. Member has acknowledged the booming sector here in the UK.