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EU project to assist photonics SMEs in entering key life sciences markets

A collaborative European project that began at the start of the year aims to bring together nine leading photonics innovation clusters and national photonics platforms for the purpose of supporting small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) that provide photonics technology to the medical technologies, pharmaceuticals, agriculture and food markets.

The EPRISE (Empowering Photonics through Regional Innovation Strategies in Europe) project will target regional and national authorities with the goal of explaining the economic benefits and high societal impact of photonics technologies, while promoting cooperation and funding between European regions. The project will help sustain Europe’s industrial competitiveness and leadership in life science market sectors.

The project will also see the organisation of a series of photonics workshops over the next two and a half years to provide SMEs with solutions on how to overcome particular market entry barriers. A panel of experts will advise the project consortium about available public funding to aid SMEs in the process, while prearranged business meetings at the workshops will boost collaboration between companies at both regional and national levels.

EPRISE coordinator Cecilia Pinto of the French photonics innovation cluster Optitec, commented: ‘We are delighted to be able to announce the start of this new support programme in photonics which will see a Europe-wide cooperation between regional photonics clusters, national photonics networks and regional authorities to help companies, particularly SMEs, to accelerate the commercialisation of new photonics products in the healthcare and agri-food markets. Such a joined-up approach will surely benefit consumers, patients, providers and manufacturers together.’ 

EPRISE is funded through Horizon 2020 in collaboration with Photonics21. Other project parters include SecPho (Spain), OpTecBB (Germany), Optoscana (Italy), PhotonicsNL (Netherlands), CPI (UK), Photonics Bretagne (France), PhotonicSweden and Photonics Finland.

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