European Calls

There are regular Photonics Calls for Proposals published by the European Commission. The Photonics21 community is the dedicated body to define the European call topics for photonics.

Current European Photonics Calls:

SC1-PHE-CORONAVIRUS-2020-2B Medical technologies, Digital tools and Artificial Intelligence (AI) analytics to improve surveillance and care at high Technology Readiness Levels (TRL)

Innovation Actions of one of the following two categories to:

1) Support solutions that are close-to-market (TRL 7) in one of the COVID-19 areas mentioned below and that have already received, or are about to receive, the CE marking to proceed to large scale testing, piloting and deployment operations in critical healthcare areas (or wherever else is relevant) (type 1);

2) Support market innovation (from lab-to-fab) for further developing and maturing innovative solutions that have already been validated in lab environments (TRL 6-7 or higher) with the aim to help accelerate developments and achieve conformity assessment (CE marking) (type 2).

This topic addresses consortia consisting of innovative technology providers, including SMEs, and/or organisations that can offer the range of activities required to address the objectives of the topic; the latter could for example be based on Digital Innovation Hubs, digital health accelerators and knowledge hubs, Centres offering Pilot Lines or similar technology, business and/or knowledge transfer organisations. The innovative technology providers can be either members of the applicant consortia or selected through open calls organised by the consortium using financial support to third parties. The support offered could include access to product development, accelerator, incubator and technical services and capabilities such as testing and experimentation facilities together with expertise, prototyping, design, engineering or pilot manufacturing services as necessary, as well as providing support for medical certification and clinical validation. Any use of third party grants must result in minimal administrative burden for participants, and allow the fastest possible launch of the projects.

The proposed actions could encompass a combination of tools and technologies, such as: microelectronics, micro/nano/cyber-physical systems; bio-functionalized chips and biosensor arrays; bio-photonics; graphene or related materials (GRM); data, AI and robotics; pathogen detection technologies; e-health, telemedicine and digital solutions.

The proposals should address one or more of the following areas:

fast, cost-effective and easily deployable sampling, screening, diagnostic and prognostic systems, including new methods for screening of lungs, using for example AI or advanced photonics solutions, to detect the presence of the pathogen related parameters especially in an early stage of infection;
environmental surveillance (sewage, air, etc.) systems and data analytics as a sentinel for viral (re)emergence and spread in communities, based for example on optical biosensors or genetic detection;
low cost sensors, smart wearable devices and robotics/AI for telemedicine, telepresence and continuous remote monitoring of patient parameters;
protection of healthcare practitioners and the general public improving for example the wetting and filtering properties of fabrics used for face masks; sensors, sterilisation, including robotics and AI solutions, for disinfection and social distancing in environments such as healthcare, public spaces and buildings;
innovative data-driven services and tools combining data assets from various relevant privately held and/or publicly available sources. These could include AI-based solutions exploiting such data and possibly additional sensor-based signals, for diagnostics, prevention, treatment, or rehabilitation. Where appropriate, privacy, data protection and anonymity in the use of mobile warning and prevention applications, as referred to in the Commission Recommendation C(2020) 2296 of 8 April 2020 on a common Union toolbox for the use of technology and data to combat and exit from the COVID-19 crisis, should be ensured.

The deadline for proposals is 11th June at 17.00 Brussels time.

You can find any further details on the European Commission website.

ICT-37-2020 Advancing photonics technologies and application driven photonics components and the innovation ecosystem

The focus is on the following themes (sub-topics):

a) Research and Innovation Actions (RIA)

i. Flexible Farm-to-Fork Sensing: Development of an innovative smart photonic sensor solution, utilizing an appropriate bandwidth between the ultraviolet (UV) and the far infrared spectral range for monitoring food quality with respect to microbiological and chemical contamination along the farm-to-fork food production chain. The targeted solution should combine photonic sensing technology with advanced data analysis techniques and be portable, easy-to-use, flexible, and broadly adaptable for usage on farms, in food processing, wholesale and retail. Actions should focus on the following areas: (1) food production by small/medium-sized farms; (2) novel types of food production, such as aquaponics; (3) on-site food processing and vending (e.g. on farms or local food markets). The developed solution must be demonstrated in real settings involving relevant stakeholders along the food supply chain, from food producers to end consumers.

ii. Novel Photonics Integrated Circuit (PIC) Technology building blocks: Major advances in photonic integrated circuit technology through the development of building blocks with significantly enhanced or novel functions. These should form part of comprehensive integration platforms for established or new important application fields, enabling the platform to meet the demands of application roadmaps concerning relevant features like sensitivity, energy efficiency, speed and chip density. Developments should be based on a generic platform approach, i.e. support the single-chip integration of complex functions through a design flow based on generic building blocks separated from production. Actions should include a validation of results with fabricated PIC prototypes.

b) Innovation Actions (IA)

iii. Smart Photonic Sensing for Environmental Pollution Detection: Prototyping, demonstration and validation in real settings of an innovative, cost-effective, portable, smart hyperspectral sensing system operating in the visible to mid-infrared spectral range, for pollution detection in environmental sensing applications. The system should be based on a miniaturised optical setup and feature broad sensorial response curves with high measurement precision in the diagnostic wavelength range, in combination with massive Cloud-based data analysis capability using advanced Deep Learning algorithms and Big Data sensor signal repositories for comprehensive chemometric analysis.

c) Coordination and Support Actions

iv. An industrial strategy for photonics in Europe: the objective is to support the development and implementation of a comprehensive industrial strategy for photonics in Europe which strengthens the links to the end user industries. The action should include the development of strategic technology road-maps, strong stakeholder engagement (in particular Photonics21 stakeholders, National Technology Platforms, regional Clusters, end-user industries), coordination of regional, national and European strategies and priorities, and development and dissemination of financing models to facilitate access by companies to different sources of finance.

The deadline for proposals is 17th June 2020 at 17:00 Brussels time.

Any further details are available on the European Commission website.


DT-ICT-04-2020 Photonics Innovation Hubs

Open access to Photonics Innovation Hubs: One-stop-shop access, supported through a network of competence centres, to services and capabilities such as expertise, training, prototyping, design, engineering, business support, financing advice and pilot manufacturing for first users and early adopters enabling the wider up-take and deployment of photonic technologies in innovative products. Actions must build on relevant previous European initiatives and existing infrastructure at European and regional level, demonstrate a record of accomplishment in supporting industry, in particular SMEs. Actions should also address skills development as well as support to the development of new innovation hubs.

The deadline for proposals is 17th June 2020 at 17:00 Brussels time.

Any further details are available on the European Commission website.