Photonics consortium supports industrial innovation in Europe

Nov. 6, 2010
Brussels, Belgium -- A European consortium of 14 high-tech research laboratories from six European member states has been formed to create a “one-stop-shop” solutions provider for micro-photonic technologies.
Brussels, Belgium -- A European consortium of 14 high-tech research laboratories from six European member states aims to create a “one-stop-shop” solutions provider for micro-photonic technologies. The consortium, ACTMOST, is testing a new industry support model and will be funded with €1.2 million ($1.7 million) by the European Commission. It expects to serve more than 30 companies during a first test-phase.

ACTMOST stands for Access Centre To Micro-Optics Expertise, Services and Technologies. Acording to Hugo Thienpont, a professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and coordinator of this initiative, the intent is to enable companies – and in particular SMEs (small and medium enterprises) – to access top-level technology platforms and experts quickly, at no cost, and risk-free. Photonics has been identified as an ideal test-case for this new subsidy model, he said.

Thienpont said that technology driven innovation requires top experts and expensive technology supply chains to turn novel concepts into
practical and manufactureable products. Companies, in particular SMEs, typically do not have access to such infrastructure.

“To solve this issue and to lower the barriers for photonics-driven product innovation in Europe we have created ACTMOST,” said Thienpont.

“Our main goal is to pro-actively provide European companies with timely, cost-effective, and investment-free access to professional, cutting-edge micro-photonic technologies and knowledge to support the development of new products,” he said.

“The technology support that we can provide encompasses the entire food-chain of micro-photonics: from optical design, to measurement, prototyping, replication and packaging, all the way to proof-of-concept demonstration, prototyping, reliability testing, and pre-production level fabrication. We aim at providing complete solutions for companies through focused collaborations and through hands-on training of industry staff in the highly advanced laboratories of the ACTMOST technology partners,” he said.

Thienpont adds: “Important to remark is that the support we will provide to industry is –under certain conditions and up to a certain level- financially fully subsidized by the European Commission.”

To inform European companies about the opportunities ACTMOST has to offer, the consortium is organizing a “Workshop for Industry” to be held December 3rd 2010 in Brussels, Belgium. The workshop is open to all European companies interested in product innovation with micro-photonics.

ACTMOST will start serving European companies in January 2011. More information about the consortium and the workshop can be found at by Steve AndersonFollow us on TwitterSubscribe now to Laser Focus World magazine; It’s free!

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