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Photonics Innovation Hubs


The focus is on the following theme

Open access to Photonics Innovation Hubs: One-stop-shop access, supported through a network of competence centres, to services and capabilities such as expertise, training, prototyping, design, engineering, business support, financing advice and pilot manufacturing for first users and early adopters enabling the wider up-take and deployment of photonic technologies in innovative products. Actions must build on relevant previous European initiatives and existing infrastructure at European and regional level, demonstrate a record of accomplishment in supporting industry, in particular SMEs. Actions should also address skills development as well as support to the development of new innovation hubs.

The Commission considers that either proposals covering a range of photonics technologies and requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 9.5 million, or a single proposal requesting a contribution of the EU of up to EUR 19 million covering the greatest possible range of photonics technologies, would allow addressing the challenges appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. For this topic, proposals have to comply with the four requirements described in the introductory section 'Support to Hubs'. Proposals may envisage to use EU funding for financial support to third parties with a maximum amount of EUR 150.000[[In line with Article 23 (7) of the Rules for Participation the amounts referred to in Article 204-205 of the Financial Regulation may be exceeded, and if this is the case proposals should explain why this is necessary to achieve the objectives of the action.]] per third party.

The challenge is to provide a sustainable ecosystem of research and innovation support for the benefit of SMEs facilitating a broad uptake and integration of photonics technologies. These Photonics Innovation Hubs will help speed up the uptake of photonics technologies in order to make European industry more competitive and foster new business and business models. Business cases must be industrially relevant and should include industrialisation steps to technology and market readiness levels of 7 - 8.

Proposals should describe how the proposed work would contribute to the listed corresponding expected impacts and metrics, the baseline and the targets to measure impact.

  • Significantly improved uptake of photonics technology by end-user industry, in particular SMEs, enabling a demonstrably more competitive European industry.
  • Creation of a sustainable network of Digital Innovation Hubs, providing European Added Value to investments done at national and regional level in Digital Innovation Hubs and reaching a high leveraging effect on other sources of funding, in particular Regional and National funding.