UK government allocates multi-millions for LED lighting projects

March 30, 2006
The UK Department of Trade & Industry is to provide funding of £9 million for collaborative R&D projects in the fields of organic electronics and solid-state lighting.
The UK's Department of Trade & Industry (DTI), through its Technology Programme, has announced funding of £9 million (about EUR 13 million, or USD 15.6 million) for collaborative R&D projects in the area of electronics and photonics which deal with the development of organic electronics and applications, and technologies for high-efficacy solid-state lighting systems.

The collaborative R&D projects, which must include at least 2 partners and at least one end user, will be 50% funded by participants, so that a total of £18 million could be pumped into this area.

Download the DTI's Electronics & Photonics document (PDF, 69 K)

Emphasis will be placed on projects that address identified needs with the potential for significant improvements and efficiencies. In the area of solid-state light source technologies, this will include high-brightness, high-efficiency devices, particularly white-light sources for illumination.

Another need is for improved-efficiency packaging techniques for next-generation lighting systems, which could include energy- and thermally-efficient packaging and systems for architectural lighting and luminaires.

At this stage, it is not clear how the funding will be split between organic electronics and solid-state lighting.

A DTI spokesperson told LEDs Magazine that the finding was part of a long-term strategy for photonics that will include support for solid-state lighting. The DTI will publish a solid-state lighting strategy document next month and recently sponsored fact-finding missions to Japan and the US.

The competition for funding, which includes a total of £80 million for diverse technology areas, will be launched on April 26 in London (see Spring 2006 Competition). Projects must be registered by June 12 (or earlier for very large projects) and applications submitted by June 19.

Projects of less than £250,000 can apply on a Fast Track process, appropriate for industry-led projects with modest academic involvement and less than 2 years duration. Larger projects lasting for 2-3 years with substantial business contribution will be assessed in a Two Stage process.