OPTICON FP7 (2013-2016) WP9 - Innovation

WP 9.1: Roadmapping

The OPTICON Technology Roadmap has evolved through the life of the project since FP6, as should be expected. The primary aim of such a roadmap is to get people to think about what new technologies could do for the field, and then plan how they can be developed to a sufficient Technology Readiness Level so that they can be adopted in instruments, telescopes and systems. The roadmap is driven by foresight of the scientific needs and facility requirements from one end, and the emerging technologies from the other. The Innovation Network will update the Roadmap throughout the period, by a process of consultation, on-line collaboration tools and workshops. We will involve industry experts in this process, and make connections with technology planning exercises in related fields, in the same way that the KTN has involvement in the ESF/ESA Techbreak project. The outcome will be published through the SPIE conference proceedings.

WP 9.2 Technology workshops

Technology workshops that bring together the astronomy technology community with industry specialists are our key mechanism for encouraging innovation. We will use a combination of focussed physical meetings with a small number of participants with a breadth of expertise, alongside virtual meetings and consultations using social networking tools. We will build on the topics explored in the previous FP7 OPTICON KTN, but put more emphasis on potential spin-out of technology from astronomy for economic and societal benefit.

WP 9.3 Industry Club

On top of the workshops which can only have a limited industrial reach, we will broaden the connections by publicising our activities through an Industry Club, where companies can sign up in order to get access to an interactive website, learn about results of workshops, provide input to the technology planning and knowledge exchange process, and get information about future workshops. We will also run a technology showcase, probably coincident with one of the large European optical instrumentation conferences or large facility exhibitions, highlighting the OPTICON developments, and providing an opportunity for further connections to take place.

Contacts: Phil Rees and Colin Cunningham at the UK Astronomy Technology Centre (STFC), Edinburgh.