27 July 2021
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PhotonHub Europe – a new pan-European photonics digital innovation hub – has been awarded €19 million investment from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme.
PhotonHub Europe will help European SMEs and mid-caps become highly competitive digital businesses through faster and smarter deployment of
photonics-based technologies, directly creating over 1.000 new high-tech EU jobs and nearly €1 billion in new revenues and venture capital by 2025.
Photonics – the science and technology of light – is a key digital technology that is radically transforming the traditional industrial base. Photonics technologies are being used to create and launch exciting new products in wide-ranging end-user application domains such as Health, Digital Infrastructure, Manufacturing, Safety, Security, Space & Defence, Agro-Food, Mobility & Energy.
“Test before invest” innovation support to companies will offer expertise and equipment for design, prototyping, experimentation, engineering and pilot production, with further guidance and seamless links to the industrial supply chain of manufacturing in Europe, all provided by Europe’s top research and innovation facilities offering the broadest possible range of photonics technologies covering the full value chain from early stage product concept to pre-market launch.
“Investing in innovation is risky, especially for smaller companies for whom photonics is a new technology where they have limited or no inhouse expertise or equipment. PhotonHub can dramatically lower the barriers to innovation for these companies to start experimenting and expanding their use of photonics”, said Mr. Ewit Roos of PhotonDelta in The Netherlands and co-leader with the VUB of the “test before invest” innovation activities within PhotonHub Europe. “We have a pool of 500 of the best photonics experts from across Europe readily available to engage with companies on highly collaborative Innovation Projects aimed at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) acceleration from prototyping (TRL3-4) to upscaling (TRL5-6) to manufacturing (TRL7- 8), complemented by targeted business coaching and IP advisory supports to the companies to further boost the market-readiness levels of their innovation activities, and all heavily subsidised for strongly committed companies”.
PhotonHub will help companies innovating with photonics to find investment from suitable sources of venture capital or other private/public sources of growth capital to further boost their capabilities in bringing new photonics and “photonics-enabled” products faster to market. Describing the investment supports, Ms. Mayte Carracedo of FundingBox in Poland and leader of the investment support activities within PhotonHub Europe working alongside other key partners including TechTour and the European Photonics Industry Consortium (EPIC), said “Matching the right investors with the right innovators at the right times is key to successful business growth. Through PhotonHub, European SMEs will be able to access a comprehensive range of supports from online guidance and orienteering on sources of investment, to more intensive personalised investment-readiness coaching and investor matchmaking specially developed for European start-ups and scale-ups innovating with photonics and organised in close collaboration with major regional and European venture fora and deep tech Investor Days”.