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"Communication underpins all great technologies"

Professor Bayvel challenges government policy
"Communication underpins all great technologies"

Prof. Polina Bayvel

“Communication underpins all great technologies; it underpins your life in every way possible.”

Professor Polina Bayvel, the Head of UCL’s Optical Networks Group was speaking at the Westminster Higher Education Forum event on 29th January 2015.

Professor Bayvel has argued that the Government’s technology investment strategy has missed the transformative potential of communications technologies. Professor Bayvel, Professor of Optical Communication and Networks, has spoken of her “shock” and that communication is not one of the “eight great technologies” earmarked as priorities for investment by the government. Speaking at the Westminster Higher Education Forum event about implementing the government’s Science and Innovation Strategy, Professor Bayvel said that communication technology was a “glaring omission” from the policy launched in 2013 by David Willetts, the science and universities minister at the time which had overlooked the potential of such technologies to improve public services such as health.

“Communication underpins all great technologies; it underpins your life in every way possible,” she said at the event.

“[It is a] shock and shame that in the United Nations International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies, in the country that invented optical fibres, communications does not feature in the eight great technologies,” she added.

Tony McBride, director of the Royal Society’s Science Policy Centre, said that to be successful, the eight great technologies need funding for the long term and must feature in regional and national science strategies. “It is important the funding is not spread too thinly,” he said.

More information about the event can be found on the Time Higher Education website: