The focus is on Manufacturing Pilot Lines: actions should provide open access to manufacturing of advanced photonics components and systems and offer related services including design and characterization. They should cover all stages of manufacturing through to testing, provide a low entry barrier access to low and medium production volumes and the processes used should be scalable to high production volumes. Actions should include a validation of the pilot line offer with involvement of externals users in pre-commercial production runs. Activities should aim at long-term sustainability, including development of or integration into photonics innovation hubs.
Actions should make use of existing infrastructure and develop close links with on-going European and national initiatives in order to maximise impact. Proposals must present industrially relevant business cases for the manufacturing pilot line, a plan for long-term sustainability and a credible strategy for future high volume production in Europe at competitive cost.
Actions must address one or more of the following technologies.
- Indium Phosphide (2018 call): providing open access to photonics integrated circuits based on Indium Phosphide, going beyond multi-project wafers and offering generic solutions for a wide class of applications.
- Silicon Photonics (2018 call): providing open access to photonics integrated circuits based on Silicon Photonics, going beyond multi-project wafers and offering generic solutions for a wide class of applications.
- Next generation free-form optics (2019 call): maturing a technology platform and providing access to optics with free-form shapes and exceptional surface finish, exploiting new optical materials and/or combining and integrating diffractive/refractive/reflective optical components, to obtain improved performances and capabilities.
- Advanced optical medical device technologies for medical diagnostics (2019 call): maturing a technology platform and providing access to novel, reliable, robust optical based devices for in-vivo and/or in-vitro medical diagnosis.
At least one proposal will be selected to cover each of these technologies. The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 8 and 15 million would allow these to be addressed appropriately. Nevertheless this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
Photonics is driving innovation in many different application areas. The challenge is to help European companies become more competitive by improving their business/production processes as well as products and services by means of photonics technology. The aim is to accelerate the design, development and uptake of photonics technology, by a wide range of industrial players, in particular SMEs by providing low-barrier access to volume production of advanced photonics components available to a wide range of industrial players, in particular SMEs which would otherwise not have easy access. Photonics Manufacturing Pilot Lines should form the basis for future Photonics Digital Innovation Hubs.
Proposals should describe how the proposed work will contribute to the listed corresponding expected impacts and include baseline, targets and metrics to measure impact.
- Improve significantly the uptake of photonics technology by end-user industry, in particular SMEs, enabling a demonstrably more competitive European industry.
- Greatly accelerate the time to market.
- Create sustainable manufacturing capability in Europe.