Project leader Victor Dolores Calzadilla of the Flux-based Photonic Integration Technology Centre tells us that 60 percent of the equipment costs of the new facility in the NanoLab@TU/e is being met by the European Fund for Regional Development. The other seven hundred thousand is coming from TU/e. “To start with, a select group of three Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) will be given access to the pilot line, and will also take part in the evaluation. Once it becomes clear that the facility is functioning properly, we will distribute seven free vouchers each worth fifty thousand euros among other interested businesses in the region. At the end of the project term, end 2022, the facility will then open its doors to all companies.”
The failure rate and the throughput time of this new pilot line should both be much lower than in today's production facilities, and overall this should greatly reduce the development costs of new photonic products. The idea is that within ten years of its completion, the project should help to create thousands of jobs.
Integrated photonics is an upcoming technology with a potential market worth hundreds of billions. Innovative SMEs are frontrunners in this development, but the R&D costs form a high barrier for these small companies.