Digital Innovation Hubs

DIH Profile


Hub Information

Hub Name
Local Name
Evolutionary Stage
Fully operational
Geographical Scope


PhotonDelta is one of Europe’s leading digital innovation hubs, and the main one in the area of Integrated Photonics, amplifying existing initiatives and kick-starting new ones. We believe that a fragmented approach to building the multi-billion Photonics business in Europe is never going to scale. Disruptive innovation needed to keep Europe’s lead in integrated photonics starts when young companies get access to the knowledge already gained by high-tech enterprises and applied research institutes. Although private initiatives are starting to grow, public funding is still needed to bridge the gap between working prototypes leaving the research lab and the point at which the chips are ready to be manufactured in quantity. It’s at that point where the private sector takes over. Grant funding to support research and innovation in SME’s has grown tenfold in the last decade to reach €100 million a year. But we believe that in order to keep a lead ahead of the US and Asia, funding level should be 10-20 times that. PhotonDelta is taking the lead to coordinate activities amongst other European digital innovation hubs working in optics and other sectors where photonics is a key enabling technology. So, for example, PhotonDelta is focusing on integrated photonics around SiN and InP. We’re collaborating with Ireland’s IPIC who are championing the challenges of photonics packaging, and participate in the ACTPHAST initiative recognized by the EC as an example of a Digital Innovation Hub; it provides open access for SME’s to design and manufacturing facilities in Integrated Photonics. We are establishing three pillars under PhotonDelta: PhotonDelta Research• The Institute of Photonic Integration builds on 40 years of optics research at TU/e – in cooperation with other nanotechnology centres like Mesa+ at the University of Twente and Saxion University of Applied Sciences. • PhotonDelta Cooperative - a consortium of scale-ups, manufacturers and investors. The goal is to build win-win situations for members, including early access to Research IP. The Photonics Integration technology centre (PITC) is currently being established, branching out on Europe-wide work done in circuits and components by the JePPIX consortium and the systems work done by the 5GBluespace Projects. Domains on pilot production lines, packaging, prototyping, building block development, and testing are currently being developed. PhotonDelta is very pro-active in outreach to industry, government and research organisations. We are gathering deep technology and industry knowledge so as to be efficient and effective.

Contact Data

Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)
Year Established
De Groene Loper 5, 5612 AE, Eindhoven (Netherlands)
Social Media
Contact information
Ewit Roos
+31 40 247 3258


Organizational form
Number of employees


  • Micro/nano electronics
  • Sensory systems
  • Photonics and imaging technologies
  • Communication networks
  • Cyber physical systems
  • Robotics
  • Internet of things
  • Advanced, or high performance computing
  • Big data, data analytics, data handling
  • Cloud computing
  • Laser based manufacturing
  • Logistics

Photonics (light technology) is one of the six key enabling technologies which is key to advanced manufacturing, datacenter expansion and development, 5G infrastructure, personalized medicine, autonomous driving, infrastructure monitoring, and smart cities, and food safety.

The activities of the hub are well aligned with the Dutch national initiative for digitising industry, Smart Industry - Dutch Industry fit for the Future.

Market and Services


  • Agriculture and food
  • Construction
  • Transport and logistics
  • Financial services
  • Public administration
  • Education
  • Life sciences & healthcare
  • Manufacture of food products, beverages and tobacco
  • Manufacture of machinery and equipment
  • Manufacture of electrical and optical equipment

TRL Focus

  • TRL1 - Basic principles observed and reported
  • TRL2 - Technology concept and/or application formulated
  • TRL3 - Analytical and experimental critical function and/or characteristic proof of concept
  • TRL4 - Component and/or breadboard validation in laboratory environment
  • TRL6 - System/subsystem model or prototype demonstration in a relevant environment
  • TRL7 - System prototype demonstration in an operational environment
  • TRL8 - Actual system completed and qualified through test and demonstration
  • TRL9 - Actual system proven through successful mission operations

Services provided

  • Awareness creation
  • Ecosystem building, scouting, brokerage, networking
  • Collaborative Research
  • Concept validation and prototyping
  • Testing and validation
  • Pre-competitive series production
  • Commercial infrastructure
  • Incubator/accelerator support
  • Voice of the customer, product consortia
  • Market intelligence
  • Education and skills development
  • Other

Service Examples

PhotonDelta recently organised an integrated photonics mapping forum together with the Boston Based AIMPhotonics Academy. This has brought 170 scientists, industry leaders, and market specialists to build an international technology roadmapping strategy for the integrated photonics industry. This will be published late 2017. As Moore’s Law becomes increasingly irrelevant for microelectronics, so photonics will play a key role in digitizing European industry. This will be done collaboratively with electronics companies. The collaborative outcome of this series of technical workshops is important input for European and national high-technology investment plans.

PhotonDelta, through JePPIX, has organised several specialised training schemes to help SME’s understand integrate photonics and design their own chips for new applications. outlines the details. Other PhotonDelta members, such as Enschede based Phoenix Software (, are now developing their own stand-alone courses to deal with specific needs of enterprise customers. This is often as a result of EU funded projects such as 5GPPP ( or the recently concluded PhotonDelta has plans to develop other training courses, all designed to accelerate the adoption of digitized manufacturing and services within Europe.

PhotonDelta, through JePPIX (, has set up a successful Multi-Project Wafer manufacturing scheme. This has opened photonic IC development to SME chip designers, system developers, advanced sensors, who would otherwise not be able to afford the chip development costs. By bringing the cost down by a factor of 20X, other companies are able to consider using more advanced digital technologies at an earlier stage. In medicine, agri-tech, and space communications technology, there is a need for faster, cheaper technologies which also have a greatly reduced environmental impact. The new PITC will also develop other manufacturing schemes and pilot-lines to improve both yield and scale output.  Effect Photonics ( & Technobis ( are two examples of customers in this respect.


  • European Social Fund
  • National specific innovation funding
  • Regional funding
  • Memberships


Number of customers annually
Type of customers
  • Start-up companies
  • SMEs (<250 employees)
  • MidCaps (between €2-10 billion turnover)
  • Large companies, multi-nationals
  • Partners

    H2020 Projects

    • ACTPHAST 4.0
      ACceleraTing PHotonics innovAtion for SME’s: a one STop-shop-incubator

      ACceleraTing PHotonics innovAtion for SME’s: a one STop-shop-incubator

      ACTPHAST 4.0 (ACceleraTing PHotonics innovAtion for SMEs: a one STop-shop-incubator) is a unique photonics innovation incubator for Europe which is perfectly aligned with the needs of SMEs in overcoming the challenges and seizing the opportunities afforded by the new digital revolution of Industry 4.0 in which photonics technologies are a key enabler. ACTPHAST 4.0 will directly support the broader and faster take-up of photonics by a critical mass of SMEs by providing action-oriented solutions on two complementary levels, driven by the business needs of the companies: (i) ready-made access to rapid prototyping services using the top photonics technologies and expert know-how of Europe’s leading photonics competence centers covering the entire integrated supply chain of photonics technology platform capabilities to make deep interventions in the SMEs’ new product development through focused short-duration co-innovation projects; combined with (ii) professional coaching on the technical, business and financial aspects of the innovation process, from concept feasibility through to a mass-manufacturable marketable product. ACTPHAST 4.0 is designed to ensure that all of Europe’s SMEs, in particular first users and early adopters across a wide range of end user industries, have open access to the incubator for timely, efficient and cost-effective photonics innovation support. As a result, ACTPHAST 4.0 expects to boost photonics innovation in Europe at a scale and with a leveraging factor never seen before, delivering a substantial increase in the revenues, venture capital and jobs across all of the supported companies. In addition, through its tight links with the EU pilot lines, as well as its collaboration with smart “first mover” regions across the EU on best practices for co-funding on SME innovation, ACTPHAST 4.0 will act as a game-changer in revitalizing European manufacturing and as one of the vital catalysts to the successful digitization of European industry.

    • PhotonHub Europe
      One-Stop-Shop Open Access to Photonics Innovation Support for a Digital Europe

      One-Stop-Shop Open Access to Photonics Innovation Support for a Digital Europe

      PhotonHub Europe will establish a single pan-EU Photonics Innovation Hub which integrates the best-in-class photonics technologies, facilities, expertise and experience of 53 partners from all over Europe, including the coordinators of EU pilot lines and local photonics hubs representing 18 regions, as a one-stop-shop solution offering a comprehensive range of supports to industry for the accelerated uptake and deployment of photonics. PhotonHub will provide European companies, in particular “non-photonics” SMEs and mid-caps that are first users and early adopters of photonics, with open access and guided orienteering to the following key support services: training and upskilling opportunities within PhotonHub’s Demo and Experience Centres throughout Europe and enhanced by digital tools for online learning; “test before invest” innovation support capabilities to engage with companies on highly collaborative Innovation Projects aimed at TRL acceleration from prototyping (TRL3-4) to upscaling (TRL5-6) to manufacturing (TRL7-8), and complemented by targeted business and IP advisory supports; and support to find investment through investment-readiness coaching and investor match-making organised in collaboration with major regional and European venture fora and deep tech Investor Days. PhotonHub will uniquely support cross-border innovation activities of European companies, while simultaneously working closely with the local photonics hubs to develop and roll out best practices of the “lighthouse” regions for ongoing regional financial support of SME innovation activities and to support the creation of new innovation hubs covering most regions of Europe. Finally, PhotonHub will fine-tune and implement its business plan for long-term sustainability in the form of the PhotonHub Europe Association as a durable entity which is deeply rooted within the wider ecosystem of local, regional and EU-DIHs for maximum leverage and impact on European competitiveness and sovereignty.

    Last updated: 07/09/18 15:16