Round-up of support available for UK organisations interested in forthcoming Photonics Calls

Posted on: 10/09/2019

Find out about the latest support available for UK Photonics organisations for Horizon 2020.

Forthcoming Horizon 2020 Photonics Calls

The final photonics calls of Horizon 2020 (ICT-36-2020 and ICT-37-2020) will open in November.


ICT-36-2020: Disruptive photonics technologies
Research and Innovation Actions (RIA)

  • 3D light field and holographic displays
  • Packaging and module integration for photonic integrated circuits (PIC)
  • Light to Fuel
  • Next-generation biophotonics methods and devices as research tools to understand the cellular origin of diseases

ICT-37-2020: Advancing photonics technologies and application-driven photonics components and the innovation ecosystem
Research and Innovation Actions (RIA)

  • Flexible Farm-to-Fork Sensing
  • Novel Photonics Integrated Circuit (PIC) Technology building blocks Innovation Actions (IA)
  • Smart Photonic Sensing for Environmental Pollution Detection


There will be four workshops at various locations across the UK:

Edinburgh – 3rd October
Newport – 16th October
Southampton – 13th November


Click here to find out more.

Photonics21 Platform

KTN is working closely with the European Photonics technology platform Photonics21 to support activities such as the development of industrial end-users in European photonics strategy, supporting access to finance for photonics start-ups, and organising events to bring together photonics with industrial challenge holders as part of the Photonics4 series, most recently in the Photonics4Food symposium on 24th of September.


Further support is available for UK photonics companies through several current Horizon2020 projects. The STEPHANIE project (Space Technology with Photonics for market and societal challenges) is focussing on ensuring the sharing of good practice around space photonics in Europe. Business Durham, the economic development organisation for County Durham, is the UK partner involved in STEPHANIE, which brings together 8 partners from 7 areas in Europe, to exchange knowledge on how to make sure that policy is designed to guarantee real benefits from space technology based on photonics.

EPRISE project

CPI is the UK partner for the EPRISE project, which was set up to promote and support photonics as a key enabling technology with a focus on Life Science applications in four target markets where Europe holds a leading position:

  • Medical Technologies
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Agriculture
  • Food


The EPRISE consortium has organised the European Photonics Roadshow Series, seven major events hosted by European regions, with the aim of providing SMEs with concrete solutions from market and photonics experts on how to overcome market barriers and to boost collaboration along the complete value chain via pre-arranged B2B meetings.


Outcomes from the project including a photonics expert database, a photonics companies database, a  ‘Go to Market’ booklet and presentations from the Roadshow events are available here.

ACTPHAST programme

ACTPHAST is a programme that gives SMEs, large companies and Universities access to some of the key European facilities and experts in the area of photonics or light-based technologies (for all non-photonics people). The access is heavily subsidised for SMEs and Universities and is, in fact, free for projects up to €30k in value (and the 75% subsidised for amounts over this value). The facilities and experts one can access are from places like the Optoelectronics Research Centre at the University of Southampton, IMEC, CNRS, Tyndall and many more.


The support could include expert advice, testing and characterisation of products, prototyping, fabrication of devices etc. For universities, hosting of researchers within ACTPHAST partners’ facilities is also possible. Projects costs within the ACPHAST partner of up to €30k are free for SMEs and Universities and paid for by the European Commission (applicants need to fund their own costs).


SMEs and universities will receive 100% funding for photonics projects up to €30k, which are aligned to one of the technology platforms within the ACTPHAST programme. Whilst the programme is likely to be attractive to companies and universities with specialisms in photonics, the programme is also keen to reach out to potential end-users of photonics.


UK companies that have benefitted from ACTPHAST support include:

  • Oxsensis – ¬†Inscription of Fibre Bragg Gratings into sapphire fibres
  • Salunda ‚Äì Novel magnetic field sensor for oil and gas applications
  • Heartfelt Technologies ‚Äì Development of micro-lens array for a 3D scanning system
  • Lynton Lasers ‚Äì Laser delivery system for cleaning applications


Organisations can register interest and apply here. For queries or further information, there is a UK contact point based at the University of Southampton, Tom Carr.

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