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EU consortium to assist photonics companies

The EPRISE project, ‘Empowering Photonics through Regional Innovation Strategies in Europe’, brings together nine photonics innovation clusters and national photonics platforms from around Europe. The project aims to support companies who use photonics to enter four market sectors: medical technologies; pharmaceuticals; agriculture; and food.

The project coordinator, Cecilia Pinto, from the photonics innovation cluster Optitec in France commented: “We are delighted to announce the start of this support programme which will see a Europe-wide cooperation between regional photonics clusters, national photonics networks and regional authorities to help companies, particularly SMEs, to accelerate the commercialisation of photonics products in the healthcare and agri-food markets.”

UK based research organisation, the Centre for Process Innovation, is included as one of the nine.

EPRISE will target regional and national authorities in order to better explain to them the economic benefits and high societal impact of photonics as a key emerging technology in their region and to promote cooperation on funding between regions.

Companies developing photonics-based products for these markets face challenges such as long time to market adoption, complex regulatory frameworks and high barriers to market entry.

The EPRISE consortium will organise a series of European photonics workshops over the next two to three years, with the aim of providing SMEs with solutions on how to overcome the market entry barriers.

Using advice from a panel of experts, the project consortium will gather together information about available public funding to aid SMEs in the process. Pre-arranged business to business meetings at these events will also boost collaboration between companies at both regional and national European levels.

The EPRISE project is a coordination and support action funded by the European Commission through the ICT part of the Horizon 2020 Programme in collaboration with Photonics21.

Peggy Lee

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