Brussels Photonics Team, VUB, Pleinlaan 2
Building F Floor 9
ACTPHAST, which stands for Access CenTer for PHotonics InnovAtion Solutions and Technology Support, is a unique one-stop-shop access centre for photonics innovation support of European industry, funded by the European Commission under FP7-ICT-2013-11 which commenced in November 2013 with a 48-month programme of work.
Building on the previous actions taken at European level to create networks of excellence in different areas of photonics, ACTPHAST successfully took on the challenge of establishing a highly effective and efficient one-stop-shop access centre, which combines the state-of-the-art expertise and technologies of 23 of the top research institutes in photonics from across the different European networks (the ACTPHAST Partners), centrally coordinated by the Brussels Photonics Team (B-Phot) of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, and rolling it out in large-scale to the broad base of European-wide industry.
As a result ACTPHAST offers a single entry point into a fully integrated supply chain across the full spectrum of photonics technology platforms, and makes them 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 and the digitization of European industry.
Given the importance of photonics as a key enabling technology, 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 to properly explore the innovation potential for their products. This is where ACTPHAST comes in.
ACTPHAST provides European SMEs from a wide variety of end-user industries with fast, flexible and targeted innovation support - 100% subsidized for SMEs - in the large domain of photonics, applicable to all sorts of different market applications, across all major photonics technology platforms as identified below:
1 Free-space photonic components and systems
2 Glass and polymer specialty fibers and fibre devices
3 Polymer-based photonic components and large-area organic-photonics
4 Micro-Opto-Electro-Mechanical Systems
5 Silicon Photonic Integrated Circuits
6 InP-based Photonic Integrated Circuits
7 Si3N4 and SiO2 passive waveguide technologies
The innovation projects with SMEs are utilizing the full spectrum of technology platforms and value-chain activities offered by ACTPHAST from modelling and design, to prototyping, characterization, packaging and integration, and finally reliability and testing.
ACTPHAST also provides linkages to pilot lines for first stage progression of new products into mass manufacturing.
Most of the ACTPHAST innovation projects entail multi-disciplinary teams of experts from more than one ACTPHAST Partner working in collaboration together and with the companies’ own R&D personnel.