Digital Innovation Hubs Digital Innovation Hubs

Accelerating Photonics innovation for SME’s (ACTPHAST 4.0) Accelerating Photonics innovation for SME’s: a one stop-shop-incubator ACTPHAST 4.0

Contact Data

Coordinator

Brussels Photonics-Vrije Universiteit Brussel B-PHOT VUB

Year Established

2013

Location

Brussels Photonics B-PHOT, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, B-1050, Belgium, B-1050, Brussel (Belgium)

Website

http://www.actphast.eu

Social Media

Contact information

Prof. Hugo Thienpont
hthienpo@vub.be
+32 2 791 6852

Description

Description

Given the importance of photonics as a key enabling technology, and the urgency surrounding the re-industrialization of Europe, it is essential that every European company looks at their own products and asks the question – “can my product be made much better by incorporating cutting-edge photonics”? Unfortunately for many companies, especially SMEs, this question poses significant obstacles because they don’t have the in-house expertise in photonics, or easy access to cutting-edge photonics technologies, to properly explore the innovation potential for their products. This is where ACTPHAST comes in. The ACTPHAST model is unique in a European context in that it is set up to provide a single entry point into a fully integrated prototyping supply chain across the broad spectrum of photonics technology platforms. ACTPHAST makes this cutting-edge photonics technology and expertise available in a subsidized format to any European company – with a particular emphasis on SMEs – for the purposes of collaborating on photonics innovation projects which will have a substantial impact on the companies’ business growth in terms of new revenues and job creation. The key point is that the companies are treated as “valued customers” of ACTPHAST to be provided with best-effort services and solutions in co-creation of new products, rather than simply providing the companies with advice or finance to deploy on their own. ACTPHAST meets the grand challenge of integrating all of the best research partners and photonics technology platforms into one cohesive Europe-wide access center with streamlined processes and procedures for collaboration with SMEs on rapid and effective product innovation. The core purpose of ACTPHAST is to identify and execute innovation projects aimed at addressing specific challenges in a company’s new product development process using photonics, which if solved can result in accelerated time-to-market, revenue growth and new job creation. In delivering on this purpose, ACTPHAST is structured around 3 core activities as follows: 1. Outreach to companies to create awareness and generate expressions of interest from European industry in carrying out photonics innovation projects 2. Innovation support to companies to define and deliver challenging innovation projects between the ACTPHAST partners and the companies driven by their business needs 3. Coordination and Impact Measurement of activities to monitor performance against the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and steer the programme of work to ensure that all objectives are met ACTPHAST is particularly geared towards rapid innovation projects of typically 7 months’ duration, purely driven by the business needs of the companies, with low administrative burden for the companies and up to 100% subsidy for SMEs (50% for large-scale companies), averaging out at just under 45K€ per project. ACTPHAST is, by design, focused on helping companies accelerate their product innovation from Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 3 to 7 in order to achieve faster “time-to-market”. In short, ACTPHAST bridges the “photonics expertise and technology gap” for companies and takes a huge amount of the risk out of innovating with photonics by finding and mobilizing dedicated task forces made up of the right experts and technologies from amongst the ACTPHAST partners’ capabilities comprising of 7 state-of-the-art photonics technology platforms with full supply chains, and 150 experts fully trained and ready to support SMEs. ACTPHAST then funds the expert task forces to carry out innovation projects with the companies. In return, the companies have to demonstrate that they are fully committed to their project and have a strong probability of achieving a substantial impact on their revenue and jobs growth as a result.

Given the importance of photonics as a key enabling technology, and the urgency surrounding the re-industrialization of Europe, it is essential that every European company looks at their own products and asks the question – “can my product be made much better by incorporating cutting-edge photonics”? Unfortunately for many companies, especially SMEs, this question poses significant obstacles because they don’t have the in-house expertise in photonics, or easy access to cutting-edge photonics technologies, to properly explore the innovation potential for their products. This is where ACTPHAST comes in. The ACTPHAST model is unique in a European context in that it is set up to provide a single entry point into a fully integrated prototyping supply chain across the broad spectrum of photonics technology platforms. ACTPHAST makes this cutting-edge photonics technology and expertise available in a subsidized format to any European company – with a particular emphasis on SMEs – for the purposes of collaborating on photonics innovation projects which will have a substantial impact on the companies’ business growth in terms of new revenues and job creation. The key point is that the companies are treated as “valued customers” of ACTPHAST to be provided with best-effort services and solutions in co-creation of new products, rather than simply providing the companies with advice or finance to deploy on their own. ACTPHAST meets the grand challenge of integrating all of the best research partners and photonics technology platforms into one cohesive Europe-wide access center with streamlined processes and procedures for collaboration with SMEs on rapid and effective product innovation. The core purpose of ACTPHAST is to identify and execute innovation projects aimed at addressing specific challenges in a company’s new product development process using photonics, which if solved can result in accelerated time-to-market, revenue growth and new job creation. In delivering on this purpose, ACTPHAST is structured around 3 core activities as follows: 1. Outreach to companies to create awareness and generate expressions of interest from European industry in carrying out photonics innovation projects 2. Innovation support to companies to define and deliver challenging innovation projects between the ACTPHAST partners and the companies driven by their business needs 3. Coordination and Impact Measurement of activities to monitor performance against the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and steer the programme of work to ensure that all objectives are met ACTPHAST is particularly geared towards rapid innovation projects of typically 7 months’ duration, purely driven by the business needs of the companies, with low administrative burden for the companies and up to 100% subsidy for SMEs (50% for large-scale companies), averaging out at just under 45K€ per project. ACTPHAST is, by design, focused on helping companies accelerate their product innovation from Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 3 to 7 in order to achieve faster “time-to-market”. In short, ACTPHAST bridges the “photonics expertise and technology gap” for companies and takes a huge amount of the risk out of innovating with photonics by finding and mobilizing dedicated task forces made up of the right experts and technologies from amongst the ACTPHAST partners’ capabilities comprising of 7 state-of-the-art photonics technology platforms with full supply chains, and 150 experts fully trained and ready to support SMEs. ACTPHAST then funds the expert task forces to carry out innovation projects with the companies. In return, the companies have to demonstrate that they are fully committed to their project and have a strong probability of achieving a substantial impact on their revenue and jobs growth as a result.

Link to national or regional initiatives for digitising industry

The activities of the hub are well aligned with the Belgian national initiative for digitising industry, MADE DIFFERENT – Factories of the future. 

This hub is also part of the EU funded H2020 project, ACTPHAST, under the EU robotics initiative framework. 

 

Market and Services

Market sectors

  • Agriculture, hunting and forestry
  • Construction
  • Transport, storage and communication
  • Health and social work
  • Manufacture of food products, beverages and tobacco
  • Manufacture of textiles and textile products
  • Manufacture of chemicals, chemical products and man-made fibres
  • Manufacture of machinery and equipment
  • Manufacture of electrical and optical equipment
  • Manufacture of transport equipment

TRL Focus

  • TRL3 - Analytical and experimental critical function and/or characteristic proof of concept
  • TRL4 - Component and/or breadboard validation in laboratory environment
  • TRL5 - Component and/or breadboard validation in relevant environment
  • TRL6 - System/subsystem model or prototype demonstration in a relevant environment
  • TRL7 - System prototype demonstration in an operational environment

Services provided

  • Awareness creation
  • Ecosystem building, scouting, brokerage, networking
  • Collaborative Researchs
  • Concept validation and prototyping
  • Testing and validation
  • Pre-competitive series production
  • Incubator/accelerator support
  • Market intelligence
  • Education and skills development

Organization

Organizational form

Project (formalized end time)

Turnover

>5.000.000

Number of employees

>100

Evolutionary Stage

In preparation

Geographical Scope

European

Funding

  • Horizon 2020
  • National basic research funding
  • Regional funding
  • Partner resources
  • Other

Partners

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)

Partner Type

University

Website

http://www.vub.ac.be/


LioniX International


Europe Unlimited t/a TechTour (EUN)


Polytechnic University of Catalonia UPC Spain


SMART Photonics BV SPH Netherlands


Itä-Suomen Yliopisto UEF Finland


Politechnika Warszawska WUT Poland

Partner Type

University

Website

https://www.pw.edu.pl/engpw


University of Southampton ORC United Kingdom


Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)


Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (TUE)

Technological competences

  • Organic and Large Area Electronics (OLAE)
  • Micro and nano electronics, smart system integration
  • Sensors, actuators, MEMS, NEMS, RF
  • Photonics, electronic and optical functional materials
  • Screens and display technologies
  • Broadband and other communication networks (e.g. 5G)
  • Cyber physical systems (e.g. embedded systems)
  • Robotics and autonomous systems
  • Internet of Things (e.g. connected devices, sensors and actuators networks)
  • Interaction technologies (e.g. human-machine Interaction, motion recognition and language technologies)
  • Advanced or High performance computing
  • Augmented and virtual reality, visualization
  • Simulation and modelling
  • Additive manufacturing (3D printing)
  • Laser based manufacturing
  • ICT management, logistics and business systems
  • New Media technologies
Last updated: 02/09/18 10:26