In its Photonics and Organic Electronics Newsletter of November 2013, the Photonics Unit of DG Connect focuses on the project ACTMOST, coordinated by Prof. Hugo Thienpont of B-PHOT VUB, as project success story.
ACTMOST (01/09/2010 to 31/08/2013) was a one-stop-shop to provide companies, mainly SMEs, with expertise and concrete solutions in micro-optics through "Innovation Projects" covering feasibility studies, proof-of-concept experiments, prototyping, personalised technology coaching, etc. In a period of 36 months with an overall EC funding of 1.2 M€, ACTMOST successfully supported 29 companies in their “Innovation Projects”, which took on average 10 months to be completed. The time between first contact with a potential industrial user and the start of the innovation support was only 2 to 3 months.
80% of the supported companies were SMEs. 20 companies fabricated photonic components or systems and were identified as belonging to the photonics industry. The other 9 companies belong to the broader circle of photonics-enabled industry. They developed innovative products enhanced with photonics functions targeting industrial sectors as diverse as biomedicine, green energy, safety and security, or transport.
A first estimate of ACTMOST’s impact, based on the business plans of the companies, indicates that, if the companies succeed to continue product development and market introduction, additional revenue of 9 M€ would be generated per year over a period of at least 4 years corresponding to approximately 45 new jobs.
ACTMOST was set up as a pilot exercise and has exceeded its initial ambitious objectives. It has shown that its support model is very efficient in terms of its speed and low overhead for the supported companies and it has demonstrated that this type of support can have a real impact on their competitiveness and business potential. ACTMOST will be followed-up by a new project, ACTPHAST (with a funding of 8 M€), having the same objectives but scaling up its operations with respect to the number of SMEs that can be supported and the comprehensive range of photonics technologies that are provided.
You can read the Photonics and Organic Electronics Newsletter here: