Cork, Ireland--A new €30 million Irish Photonic Integration Centre (IPIC) was launched last Friday (24 Jan. 2014) at the Tyndall National Institute; the IPIC is led by Tyndall in collaboration with University College Cork (UCC), Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), and Dublin City University (DCU), bringing together more than 100 researchers from these institutions, along with 18 industry partners. Efforts at IPIC will concentrate on R&D and commercialization of integrated photonics, including silicon photonic circuits and medical devices.
The IPIC is a Research Centre funded by the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI); the SFI's overall plan is to invest €300 million in seven world-class Irish Research Centres covering various research and commercialization areas (marine sciences, neonatal research, and food research, among others). €100 million of this total comes in the form of co-investments from more than 150 industry partners.
Photonics start-up hub
The IPIC will receive €20 million from Ireland's Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through SFI’s Research Centres Programme, with an additional €10 million coming from industry. It will also act as a high-tech start-up base, A new high-tech company, X-Celeprint has already committed to base its headquarters in Tyndall. X-Celeprint is developing a micro-transfer-printing process to print semiconductor devices on flexible substrates. These devices can include lasers, LEDs, solar cells pixel-driving integrated circuits, and transistors, and can be fabricated from many photonics-friendly materials such as gallium arsenide, indium phosphide, gallium nitride, and silicon.
"The Centre is in prime position to achieve further funding from the Horizon 2020 funding round and to attract new companies and talent to Ireland," noted Sean Sherlock, Irish Minister for Research and Innovation, at the launch.
“The launch of IPIC represents an exciting new chapter in photonic research in Ireland, which aims to achieve both measurable economic impact and global scientific recognition for Ireland in this sector," said Paul Townsend, IPIC director. "The Centre brings together a full research ‘value chain’ with expertise that spans from semiconductor and biomaterials, through integrated photonic and microelectronic circuits, to fully-packaged photonic systems.”