ACTPHAST 4R is a new EU innovation hub that promises to give European academic-institute researchers specialising in photonics technologies the opportunity to turn their concepts into prototypes.
Photonics is considered a critical digital technology in optical communications and high-performance computing, Industry 4.0, and even smart healthcare and smart living. The ACTPHAST 4R hub will accelerate scientific development concepts into industrial demonstrators, which requires expertise that the researchers may not necessarily have. In addition, it will involve internships and hands-on training in state-of-art technology platforms and equipment in its centres. Researchers will get access to intensive entrepreneurial coaching, further enabling cross-fertilisation of photonics with other key scientific domains, with the goal of commercialisation.
Over the next four years, ACTPHATS4R is expected to create 50 high-tech jobs in new spin-out companies, creating new positions like CEOs, CTOs and Heads of Innovation, Engineering and Product Development. The innovation hub will foster 30 new IP depots, patent applications and strengthened patents, 20 new IP transfer or technology licensing agreements with industry, and help to generate €15m in new venture capital.
“The ambitious ACTPHAST 4R programme will greatly strengthen the European innovation ecosystem. We will open up access to advanced prototyping platforms for researchers and tackle critical roadblocks at the early stage TRL levels in the bridge between fundamental and applied research. Through this facility, we will create new opportunities to deliver advanced photonics technologies and sustainable growth across all European regions,” said Professor Hugo Thienpont, Project coordinator and managing director of the Brussels Photonics Team at VUB.