EPIC calls for entries for photonics entrepreneurship award

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The European Photonics Industry Consortium (EPIC) is calling for nominations for its annual Phoenix Award, a prize that celebrates the challenges and merits of entrepreneurship.

The nominations are open to European companies that are active in the field of photonics, and particularly for businesses that represent the reality of entrepreneurship; so may have faced difficulties in their development, for example, but have ultimately managed to secure themselves as a successful company. 

Because the prize does not just celebrate a company’s success, but recognises its problems along the way − such as difficulties in developing technology, selling products, or raising capital − EPIC hopes that the Phoenix Award will encourage entrepreneurship in the photonics industry, by showing that success can happen even after many hurdles.

Proposals should be sent before the 29 August to Carlos Lee, director general of EPIC (contact information below), and should include information about the company’s history, examples of hardship that the business went through, and its success factors.

The 2013 Phoenix Award was presented to UK company Advanced Fibreoptic Engineering (AFE). The original company, GCA Fibre Optics, was formed in 1994, but in 2001, a new facility that cost $18 million had to be closed after telecom bubble burst, which caused serious consequences for many photonics companies throughout the industry.

Advanced Fibre optic Engineering was formed in June 2005, acting as a much smaller and more efficient company. Many lessons from the former business were applied to AFE, and in 2013, the business was in its ninth year of profitable trading, demonstrating the success that can be achieved even after what seems like irreversible damage.


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