Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Leading EU consortium aims to assist photonics companies to enter key Life Sciences markets

The EPRISE project, "Empowering Photonics through Regional Innovation Strategies in Europe", brings together nine leading photonics innovation clusters and national photonics platforms around Europe with the aim of supporting companies who use photonics as a key enabling technology to enter into four market sectors where Europe holds a leading position, namely, Medical Technologies, Pharmaceuticals, Agriculture and Food.

Photonics research requires significant levels of financial investment. So in order to sustain Europe's Industrial competitiveness and leadership in these photonic market sectors, Europe needs to better exploit the innovation leverage potential of regional innovation clusters and national platforms. EPRISE will target the regional and national authorities in order to better explain to them about the economic benefits and high societal impact of Photonics as a key emerging technology in their region and to promote cooperation on funding between regions.

Europe's photonics industry is facing global market competition and has to cope with a very high speed of technological developments in the field. While scientists and researchers have made great strides in advancing the application of photonics in these market sectors, there is still plenty of work to be done. Companies developing photonics-based products for these markets face highly specific Go2Market challenges such as long time to market adoption, complex regulatory frameworks and high barriers to market entry. The EPRISE consortium will organise a series of European photonics workshops over the next 2 ½ years, with the aim of providing SMEs with solutions on how to overcome the market entry barriers. Utilising advice from a panel of experts, the project consortium will gather together information about available public funding to aid SMEs in the process. Pre-arranged business to business meetings at these events will also boost collaboration between companies at both regional and national European levels.

The project coordinator, Cecilia Pinto from photonics innovation cluster Optitec in France commented – "We are delighted to be able to announce the start of this new support programme in Photonics which will see a Europe-wide cooperation between regional photonics clusters, National photonics networks and regional authorities to help companies, particularly Small and Medium size Enterprises (SMEs), to accelerate the commercialization of new photonics products in the Healthcare and Agri-Food markets. Such a joined-up approach will surely benefit consumers, patients, providers and manufacturers together."

The EPRISE project is a coordination and support action funded by the European Commission through the ICT part of the Horizon 2020 Programme in collaboration with Photonics21, the European Technology Platform (ETP) representing the European Photonics Community.

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