Fire has destroyed Europe's major optoelectronics interdisciplinary research centre at Southampton University, UK.

Fire has destroyed Europe’s major optoelectronics interdisciplinary research centre at Southampton University, UK. 

No one was injured in the fire, which destroyed part of the Mountbatten building, home to the optoelectronics research centre (ORC) and the school of electronics and computer science. The microfabrication facility was worst hit by the fire.

It is not yet clear how much of a setback this will be for the ORC’s research, which includes optical communications devices and laser technologies, and optical DNA biosensors. David Payne, ORC’s director said local photonics businesses have come forward to help ensure research carries on unabated by allowing researchers to use their labs.

The ORC is the largest centre of its kind in Europe, with over 150 staff and the biggest clean room complexes in Europe. Four companies have been created out of the ORC, including Southampton Photonics, which was the UK’s largest ever university spin out company when it was formed in 2000. Katharine Sanderson