European Commission publishes “An Overview of Photonics Innovation Clusters and National Technology Platforms in Europe”

European CommissionSuccessful launch of an EU Technology Platform - however room for improvement in forming national clusters and platforms

Clusters play an important role in Europe’s efforts to successfully promote innovation within the European reform agenda for growth and jobs.
The EU Commission DG Information Society and Media now published a status report on how Europe’s photonic landscape organized their networking and forming of photonics communities. They also look into the current achievements and future challenges - lining out an SWOT analysis and proposing actions for a wider deployment on photonics.
“The RDI potential in photonics has not yet been fully exploited in Europe” the report concludes, however noting, that since the founding of Photonics21 as a European Technology Platform (ETP) in 2005 progress was made in setting up either Photonic Innovation Clusters or National Technology Platforms.
However, so the findings of the report, “direct and visible links between academic research and industries is sometimes lacking at a national level” which so the valuation, leads to a waste of expertise und an underperforming use of synergies in Research, Development and Innovation. It also results, so the reporters, in an “only partial recognition for photonics at political levels and very few specific regional/national funding programs”.
Following the analysis of the important role of photonics as one of the seven Key Enabling Technologies (KET), the report strongly suggests:
  • enhanced efforts for forming national clusters/platforms,
  • improve the efficiency of existing networking bodies
  • broadening cluster/platform focus above specific niche markets
  • include more actors along the value chain - mainly in the end-use sectors.
You can read the full report here.
Source: Photonics21 Newsletter