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Eureka Network announces funding round for international photonics research

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The Eureka Network in Photonics, a joint initiative between Innovate UK and the funding authorities of the Photonics 21 Mirror Group, has announced its intention to fund international research and development projects with up to €2 million to produce industrial photonic technologies for advanced manufacturing.

The funded projects, according to the network, will last no longer than three years, and will investigate photonics technologies including: laser machining; additive manufacturing; selective laser sintering; photonic curing; optical process control; 3D optical sensing and imaging; lidar; and photo-, stereo-, or laser-based lithography.

Funded projects will also address industry sectors including: transportation and automotive manufacturing; aerospace; electro-mechanical engineering; materials; chemical and pharmaceuticals; food control; safety and quality engineering; and manufacturing technologies.

‘The participating funding bodies…intend to fund joint research and development in the area of photonics,’ stated the network in its call. ‘Applicants are expected to undertake research aiming at marketable products, services or technologies with high market potential in the participating countries.’

Participating countries of the Eureka Network in Photonics are: Austria, France, Germany, Israel, Poland, Switzerland and the UK.

The call for project proposals opened on 25 March with a submission deadline of 25 July 2019. Selection of the funded projects will take place on 29 October, with an intention to start the projects between January and June 2020. Funded projects will receive between €750,000 and €2 million.

UK Photonics

Innovate UK, a funding agency dedicated to driving science and technology innovation in the UK, will be funding UK organisations involved in such projects with a share of up to £2 million.

Organisations eligible for this funding will need to involve at least one UK based micro, small or medium sized enterprise (SME), and must also collaborate with at least one separate organisation from another country of the Eureka Network in Photonics. These organisations must apply for the UK funding via Innovate UK by 15 July, in addition to filling out a Eureka project application form by the main 25 July deadline.

Photonic technologies contribute almost £13 billion to the UK economy. Light-based technologies also account for 7 per cent of all UK manufacturing output. This means that the UK is currently among the top 10 countries for global market share of photonics components.

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