Photonics is an emerging technology with a potential multitrillion market. Innovative small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are at the forefront of this development, but the R&D costs are prohibitive for them. That’s why 12 partners from northwestern Europe are creating an open access pilot line that will drastically reduce costs and time for the pilot production of new products. The 14 million euro project (OIP4NWE) is supported by the European Regional Development Fund and kicked off in November, 2018 in Eindhoven.
Within the OIP4NWE project, a TransNational Network (TNN) of existing organisations has been built, active in engaging with SMEs in the implementation in the implementation of integrated photonics.
Consisting of some partners in this project and other additional support organisations not included in the project, the Network will be expanding over the life time of the project in order to reach new markets and increase the projects outreach.
An organisation joining the TNN will benefit from early identification of business opportunities, connecting to Digital Innovation Hubs, avail of knowledge and expertise in PIC technology and benefit from the pilot line established within the project OIP4NWE.
The TNN will be active in soliciting candidates for the voucher scheme, leading to 7 SMEs using the Pilot Line for PIC manufacturing. The TNN also supports the internal relationships between key work packages of the project, the vouchers to increase the outreach of the call for proposals and communications – the TransNational Network will be the project’s dissemination instrument and will promote open innovation collaboration. After project end, the TNN will remain in operation to serve as marketing instrument for attracting SMEs making use of the pilotline and other parts of the ecosystem.
Therefore, the TransNational Network is an important tool to reach the projects goals, increase the visibility of the emerging pilot line and the partners activities and gain sustainable success of the services offered within OIP4NWE.