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European photonic research sees the light

A Network of Excellence (NoE) has been established to help Europe maintain its lead in photonic integration research through better use of its financial, technical and human resources.


Photonics involves products and technologies that operate using light energy, including ICT, sensors and biomedical applications. The Epixnet Network of Excellence NoE is dedicated to the restructuring of the EU's Photonic Integration research community. The shift is from a model based on independent research to a model based on sharing technology and know-how. Epixnet has successfully established technology platforms that provide shared access to both costly technologies and state-of-the-art computer facilities, resulting in a range of joint research activities. Support has been provided for researcher exchanges and PhD studies, which have built up a core of skilled workers in the field of photonic integration. Thanks to these far-sighted initiatives Europe is now considered the world-leader in photonics research. Photonic technologies require significant investment, requiring greater integration of research at the international level, thereby enabling a large number of researchers to contribute their complementary skills. Three main objectives characterise the Epixnet project. They include restructuring the research community, promoting training and educational activities and creating new opportunities for photonic integration in a whole spectrum of applications. Progress can be measured by the number of research activities, which range from basic enabling technologies to advanced uses. The activities focus on five main themes: photonic integration technology, nanophotonics, advanced semiconductor materials, ultra-fast light sources and ultra-fast signal processing. The Epixnet project can help build long-lasting relationships enabling partners to concentrate on their core competencies while accessing other partners to make use of their available resources and infrastructure. This will enable European research to maintain its dominance in the field of photonic integration.

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