Optics.org
daily coverage of the optics & photonics industry and the markets that it serves
News
Menu
Business News

Conference considers routes to EU funding

14 Nov 2012

Photonics business and academic communities learn of EU and UK R&D funding opportunities.

A major meeting at the end of October, organized jointly between the UK's Electronics Sensors & Photonics and Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Networks, and the South of England Photonics Network, considered the upcoming changes in European funding and the various opportunities that these are presenting to both photonics and nanotechnology sectors.

Following reports from the European High Level Working Group consisting of leading industrialists, photonics and nanotechnology were identified as two of six key enabling technologies (KETs) that are vital for Europe's future expansion.

The reports also identified the importance of bridging the so-called innovation gap between knowledge creation and commercialization. Publication of the reports coincides with the planning the European budget for the next seven years from 2014.

John Lincoln, the director of SEPNET told optics.org, “The focus of EU collaborative R&D funding is changing, in some cases drastically.

"This meeting provided information on how these changes affect photonics and nanotechnology businesses, allowing business leaders to plan how to leverage EU financial and collaborative support both for new product and manufacturing development.”

Commitment to PPP

He added that UK industry interest and commitment is still required for the proposed Photonics Public Private partnership (PPP). The European Commission has specifically asked for input from UK industry to support and enable the PPP.

Conference topics covered included: analysis of the last FP7 ICT call due later in 2012, bridging the so-called “innovation gap”, the future direction and value of EU collaborative R&D funding, Horizon2020, the proposed photonics “PPP”, structural funding and how to access it, UK Technology Strategy Board collaborative funding, and more on the pending UK Fraunhofer Institute.

Ronan Burgess, Deputy Head of the Photonics Unit at the European Commission discussed Horizon 2020; where photonics is within Horizon 2020; the idea of a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) for Photonics.

The main objectives of Horizon 2020 are threefold: Tackling societal challenges (including health, food security, cleaner and more efficient energy); creating industrial leadership (including photonics ICT, nanotech and innovation in SMEs); and achieving excellence in the science base (“frontier research, considering future and emerging technologies and skills and career development).

Burgess told the conference, “The objectives of the proposed photonics PPP are several: to secure the EU’s industrial leadership in those application areas where photonics is driving innovation and Europe is strong or where there is potential for creating new markets; to accelerate innovation, manufacturing, and job creation by promoting RDI activities with a business-led agenda to address the value chain; and by stimulating private sector RDI investment provide solutions for the major societal challenges.”

“Today photonics is a €60 billion business sector with technology leadership in areas such as all-optical networks, energy-efficient lighting and manufacturing, photonic diagnostics and laser-based therapeutic treatments, photonics sensors for safety and security, all-optical computing and quantum computing.”

Countdown to Horizon 2020

The main objectives of Horizon 2020 are threefold: Tackling societal challenges (including health, food security, cleaner and more efficient energy); creating industrial leadership (including photonics ICT, nanotech and innovation in SMEs); and achieving excellence in the science base (“frontier research, considering future and emerging technologies and skills and career development).

Horizon 2020 is due to start in 2014, but negotiations and discussions about its scope, size and potential to deliver sustainable support to new technology innovations - including the associated Photonics PPP - are already underway.

The timeline to the launch of Horizon 2020 is shown in the adjacent schematic (right).

Other topics addressed by the conference included Applying European Smart Specialization Strategy in the UK by Kevin Richardson of the UK Government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

There were also two examples of Potential Structural Funding Proposals, presented by Oclaro’s Mike Wale and Southampton University’s Graham Reed; and details of ERANET and the Technology Strategy Board’s calls for 2012-2013 by Myrddin Jones.

About the Author

Matthew Peach is a contributing editor to optics.org

Ealing UGDataRay Inc.Bristol Instruments, Inc.Ocean InsightKnight Optical LtdSynopsys, Optical Solutions Groupart Photonics GmbH
Copyright © 2019 SPIE EuropeDesigned by Kestrel Web Services