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PhotonHub Europe to support the deployment of photonic technologies in European industry

PhotonHub Europe, a new pan-European hub for digital innovations in the field of photonics, with the Warsaw University of Technology as one of its partners, has received EUR 19 million in funding under the EU Horizon 2020 program. The hub will support the development of small and medium-sized enterprises.

photo credit: PhotonHub Europe

photo credit: PhotonHub Europe

Thanks to quicker and smarter photonic-based technology deployment, PhotonHub Europe will help to transform European SMEs and medium-capitalization companies into highly competitive digital enterprises. By 2025, the Hub expects to create more than 1000 high-tech jobs in the EU and generate almost EUR 1 billion in revenue and venture capital fund value increase.

To accelerate the implementation of photonic technologies in the European industry, PhotonHub will establish a photonic innovation center. As a comprehensive solution, it will combine all the best-in-class photonic technologies, facilities, as well as the knowledge and experience of the 53 best European competence centers which are partners of the project. The Hub will be available to any European company wishing to innovate in the field of photonics.

As a result, PhotonHub will provide companies, in particular SMEs and mid-cap companies which have not yet used or have just started using photonic technologies, with a wide range of services, including:

  • support in the field of training and competence development;
  • “check before you invest” innovation support;
  • support with finding investments.

PhotonHub Europe is the result of over 15 years of cooperation between many organizations which were involved in previous projects across Europe. Warsaw University of Technology has also been actively involved in the venture. Professor Małgorzata Kujawińska of the Institute of Micromechanics and Photonics, Faculty of Mechatronics, was the co-coordinator of the “NEMO” micro-optics projects and the ACTMOST project, and then a member of the European Coordination Board and WUT Coordinator for the Integrated ACTPHAST (7PR), ACTPHAST4.0 and ACTPHAST4R (H2020) projects.

Warsaw University of Technology is one of the scientific partners of PhotonHub Europe. Three faculties working within the Research Center of the Photonic Technologies Priority Research Area are taking part in the project: the Faculty of Mechatronics (WUT PhotonHub Europe Coordinator), the Faculty of Electronics and Information Technology and the Faculty of Physics.

Professor Małgorzata Kujawińska is a member of the team responsible for the evaluation of projects submitted by companies. “It is one of PhotonHub Europe’s most important decision-making bodies on an operational level,” says Professor Małgorzata Kujawińska. “It assesses the company's support needs based on a description of the scope of the innovative challenge. Warsaw University of Technology is also expected to be one of the main providers of support as regards education and training in the field of photonics and competence development,” she adds.

PhotonHub Europe will start operating in early 2021 and will hold continuous open calls for companies applying for its support.

Photonics – the science and technology of light – is a key technology which is changing the face of the traditional industry. Photonic technologies are used to create and market new products for end users in various fields such as: health, digital infrastructure, manufacturing, security, space and defense, the agri-food sector, mobility and energy.

Thanks to their significant potential, “photonic technologies” have been named one of the seven Priority Research Areas which are being intensively developed at the WUT as part of the “Research University” project. Thanks to integrated photonics research and implementation work carried out in Poland and abroad by the Faculty of Mechatronics, the Faculty of Electronics and Information Technologies and the Faculty of Physics, the Warsaw University of Technology may become one of the key technology support partners in the PhotonHub Europe project.