a. Research and Innovation Actions
Application driven core photonic technology developments for a new generation of photonic devices (including components, modules and sub-systems): Actions should demonstrate strong industrial commitment, be driven by user needs and concrete business cases supported by strong exploitation strategies, and cover the value/supply chain as appropriate. Actions should address manufacturability and validation of results for the target applications and should include standardisation activities as appropriate. Actions may also include the related materials. Focus is on one of the following themes:
- Biophotonics: advancing imaging for in-depth disease diagnosis: The objective is to develop innovative, compact, easy to operate non- or minimally invasive functional imaging systems that are multi-band and multimodal (including photonics in combination with non-photonic techniques) to support the in vivo diagnosis of age and life-style related diseases like cancer, cardiovascular, osteoarticular, eye diseases and various neuro-pathologies, after a positive screening. The imaging system must be either label-free or based on already/rapidly safety-approved labels, and should either address unmet medical needs or support a diagnostic approach which is significantly superior to existing approaches. Physicians/clinicians must be closely involved from requirement specifications to the validation. Validation in clinical settings should be included, but clinical trials are excluded.
- Breakthrough in miniaturization of SSL light engines and systems: Research into breakthrough miniaturization of SSL (LED and OLED) light engines and systems allowing for new types or revolutionary designs of luminaires and lamps with new form factors and expanding application fields, such as in automotive, signalling, wearables, and through the integration into building materials in the construction sector. Research on the integration of driver electronics and system and functionality aspects may be included.
- Pervasive high-specificity and high-sensitivity sensing for a safer environment: Breakthrough advances in cost-effective, compact, high-performance (both in specificity and sensitivity) photonic devices (including sources) for pervasive (i.e. large area coverage) near- and mid-infrared sensing applications (spectral range of 2 to 12 μm) for a safer environment, such as monitoring of water or air quality at large scale. Specificity and sensitivity levels should at least respect regulatory requirements. Actions should include validation of the device and proof of its suitability for the targeted application. Research on application related computation, communication and sensor system/network level aspects should be excluded, while development necessary for validation can be included. Hybrid solutions where the core photonic technology is complemented with other technologies are allowed.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 and 4 million would allow this area to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. Minimum one action per theme will be selected.
b. Innovation Actions
Focus is on one of the following themes:
- Application driven core photonic devices integrated in systems: Focus is on microdisplay-based immersive, augmented and virtual reality visualisation systems. Actions should address validation and demonstration of new micro-display based visualization systems for key applications in e.g. healthcare, maintenance & training, entertainment, tourism or sports. This may include wearable systems, as well as larger projection systems. Actions should also include standardisation activities. They should demonstrate strong industrial commitment, be driven by user needs and concrete business cases supported by strong exploitation strategies, and cover the whole value/supply chain and the end-user.
- Pilot line for Assembly and Packaging[[Wherever appropriate, actions could seek synergies and co-financing from relevant national/regional research and innovation programmes, or from structural funds addressing smart specialisation. Actions combining different sources of financing should include a concrete financial plan detailing the use of these funding sources for the different parts of their activities. ]] : The objective is to set-up a pilot line for the assembly and packaging of integrated photonic components. The pilot line should offer generic solutions for a wide class of PICs (Photonic Integrated Circuits) as well as for the more demanding requirements of some selected PIC-based product groups of strategic interest to European industry. It should cover all stages of manufacturing through to testing. From technical as well as from user perspective, it should provide a low entry barrier access to low and medium production volumes, although the available processes should be suited also for scaling to high volume production. The action may include also process and equipment optimisation and qualification, and should include a validation of the pilot line offer with involvement of external users through pre-commercial pilot runs. A credible strategy to future full-scale manufacturing in Europe is expected. The action should deliver the additional knowledge and experience needed for this, be driven by the key stakeholders able to set-up and run such pilot lines, and cover the value chain as appropriate.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 2 and 4 million (for theme b.i) and between EUR 6 and 14 million (for theme b.ii) would allow these themes to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. Minimum one action per theme will be selected.
c. Coordination and support actions
- Coordination of regional photonics strategies: The objective is to stimulate collaboration of photonics clusters to extend the range of Go-To-Market services for SMEs (including access to finance) through exchanging and adopting best practises, to network the SMEs with potential collaborators, business partners and customers, and to coordinate regional, national and European strategies and financial resources to the benefit of the local ecosystem and the regional smart specialisation strategies. Actions should build on on-going support actions in this field.
- Photonics enhanced MakerLabs[[Wherever appropriate, actions could seek synergies and co-financing from relevant national/regional research and innovation programmes, or from structural funds addressing smart specialisation. Actions combining different sources of financing should include a concrete financial plan detailing the use of these funding sources for the different parts of their activities. ]] : The objective is to raise awareness, support hands-on learning and enhance skills of students, technicians and young professionals interested in photonics by extending existing facilities in order to provide access to photonic components, photonics-based equipment and related support services.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 1.5 million would allow these themes to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. Minimum one action per theme will be selected.
Europe's photonics industry is facing fierce global market competition and has to cope with a very high speed of technological developments in the field. Further major S&T progress and research and innovation investments are required for sustaining Europe's industrial competitiveness and leadership in photonic market sectors where Europe is strong (e.g. in laser-based manufacturing, medical photonics, sensing, lighting) and to exploit new emerging market opportunities.
Moreover, Europe is experiencing the existence of many fragmented and rather uncoordinated developments between many different national and regional players. Europe suffers also from a slow innovation process for turning many good R&D results into innovative products (‘Valley of Death’). This requires a joined-up approach, covering missing links in the value chain, such as assembly and packaging of photonics components. Finally, Europe needs to better exploit the large enabling potential of photonics in many industrial sectors and in solutions addressing major societal challenges such as health and well-being, energy efficiency or safety. Europe also needs to better exploit the innovation leverage potential of the innovation clusters and national platforms. The new trend in society of makerlabs and the efforts to create more interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) need to be exploited to generate an increased awareness of and improved skills in photonics.
In order to capitalise on the opportunities coming from advances in Photonics for laser-based production, a topic addressing these is proposed in collaboration[[The Photonics PPP contributes 10M€ funding to this topic in the FoF Work Programme.]] with Factories of the Future topic FOF-13-2016 - Photonics Laser-based production.
Proposals should describe how the proposed work will contribute to the listed corresponding expected impacts and provide metrics, the baseline and concrete targets.
a. Research and Innovation Actions
i. Biophotonics: advancing imaging for in-depth disease diagnosis
- Substantially improved in-depth diagnosis and more effective treatment of age and life-style related diseases;
- Secured and reinforced industrial leadership in the biophotonics related market for Analysis and Diagnostic Imaging Systems.
ii.. Breakthrough in miniaturization of SSL light engines and systems
- Improved cost/performance ratio and higher energy efficiency of miniaturized SSL light engines and systems;
- Innovative lighting, expanding application fields and markets for lighting solutions and maintained European industrial leadership in the global lighting market.
iii. Pervasive high-specificity and high-sensitivity sensing for a safer environment
- Better and pervasive environmental sensing and a safer environment;
- Secured and reinforced industrial leadership in sensing applications for the environment.
b. Innovation Actions
i. Microdisplay-based immersive, augmented and virtual reality visualisation systems
- Major benefits for the users and end-markets from immersive, augmented and virtual reality visualisation systems;
- Increased market presence in augmented and virtual reality visualisation systems.
ii. Pilot line for Assembly and Packaging
- Industrial assembly and packaging of integrated photonic components in Europe and providing cost effective assembly and packaging solutions for SMEs;
- Strengthening Europe's position in the manufacture of integrated photonic components and covering the full value chain in Europe.
c. Coordination and support actions
i. Coordination of regional photonics strategies
- Improved coordination of strategies and resources within Europe and effective reinforcement of the European photonics sector.
ii. Photonics enabled MakerLabs
- A larger and better skilled photonics workforce and improved innovation capacity in photonics.