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Boosting Europe’s Sovereignty in Technology by driving Photonics from Research to Market – Photonics21

Project description

Keeping Europe at the global forefront in photonics R&D

The science and technology of light, photonics is behind many of the innovations that have transformed our daily lives – from the LED lighting in our cars, homes and computer screens to lasers and optical fibres. To develop a community-driven European photonics industrial strategy, the EU-funded BestPhorm21 project will engage over 3 000 experts from industry and academia. Together, they will guide Horizon Europe and industrial investments in R&D and advanced manufacturing. Overall, the project will decisively contribute to increasing European technological sovereignty in photonics, which is a key digital technology. To keep Europe at the global forefront in photonics R&D, BestPhorm21 will initiate cross-Member State and regional investments.


BestPhorm21 will provide the decisive support to Horizon Europe’s “Photonics Partnership”, which is currently established between the EU Commission and Photonics21, to stimulate the growth of the European photonics industry. The project is led by the Photoncs21 Secretariat, VDITZ, in partnership with 14 National Technology Platforms, representing Europe’s photonics industry, Research and Technology Organisations (RTOs) and clusters. BestPhorm21 will develop a community driven European photonics industrial strategy and roadmap, engaging over 3,000 experts from industry and academia, that will guide Horizon Europe and industrial investments in R&D and advanced manufacturing. BestPhorm21 thus makes a significant contribution to increasing European technological sovereignty in a key digital technology such as photonics. It will furthermore establish new strategic value chains between photonics and end user industries, through the delivery of 7 additional “photonics enabled” end user industry roadmaps. This will be done in close cooperation with the respective industry stakeholders organsiations, more than 700 experts from both the photonics and end-user industries will be involved. The industrial strategy will result in new product launches and services that drive sales growth and support the digitalization of these sectors. BestPhorm21 will trigger cross-member state and regional investments, which mobilise and leverage Europe‘s full innovation ecosystem to keep Europe at the global forefront in photonics R&D and technology development, delivering cross-member state calls valued at > EUR 10 m and 5 interregional investment projects. Finally, BestPhorm21 increases access to risk finance for over 300 photonics start-ups and SMEs in their critical growth phases, through “blended finance” (European Investment Council’s Accelerator), “Venture Capital” (dedicated VC events) and “Venture debt” (European Investment Bank).

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 2 323 773,75
VDI-Platz 1
40468 Duesseldorf

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Nordrhein-Westfalen Düsseldorf Düsseldorf, Kreisfreie Stadt
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 2 323 773,75

Participants (15)