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Brussels sets aside €45m for optics

29 Aug 2003

Photonics researchers across Europe have the chance to apply for a portion of a €45million fund.

The European Commission (EC) has earmarked EURO 45 million to spend on photonics-related research projects selected in the second call of its Sixth Framework Programme (FP6). The deadline for submitting FP6 project proposals is 15 October.

The cash is the result of a new strategic objective on “optical, optoelectronic and photonic functional components” from the EC’s Information Society Technologies directorate.

The EC says that the investment is intended to support forward-thinking optics projects. It is keen to address research challenges for 2010 and beyond in the fields of telecoms, information technology, healthcare, life sciences, the environment and security.

Particular emphasis is being placed on three areas of photonics technology:

•  Advanced materials and photonic structures, and their integration with microelectronics (this includes research on micro-optics, compound semiconductors, polymers and glass);

•  advanced devices, integrated photonic circuits and sensors for the telecoms, medical and environmental sectors; and

•  compact solid-state light sources with increased brightness and tunability (this also includes work on ultra-short pulse generation and microcavities).

According to the Commission’s Ronan Burgess, this call for photonics projects is broader than previous ones, as it covers medical and environmental uses as well as telecoms.

“There’s a lot of potential for transferring technology from telecoms, which has been the main push in the past,” commented Burgess. “It’s important to understand that photonics is not just a subset of telecoms.”

•  For more information visit:
the CORDIS website

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