Access CenTer for PHotonics innovAtion Solutions and Technology support (4.0)

ACTPHAST 4.0 (ACceleraTing PHotonics innovAtion for SME’s: a one STop-shop-incubator) is a unique “one-stop-shop rapid prototyping incubator” for supporting photonics innovation by European companies, which is financially supported by the European Commission under Horizon2020 (Grant Agreement No. 779472).

ACTPHAST 4.0 supports and accelerates the innovation capacity of European companies by providing them with direct access to the expertise and state-of-the-art facilities of Europe's leading photonics research centres (the ACTPHAST 4.0 Partners), enabling companies to exploit the tremendous commercial potential of applied photonics. There are 24 research institutes who together make up the ACTPHAST 4.0 Partners. Together the ACTPHAST 4.0 Partners provide a full spectrum of photonics technology platforms ranging from fibre optics and micro optics, to highly integrated photonic platforms (7 technology platforms in all), with capabilities extending from design through to full system prototyping.

ACTPHAST 4.0 operates as an open call to all European companies (big and small, but particularly targeted at SMEs) so they can avail of timely, cost-effective, and low risk photonics innovation support, and that the extensive range of capabilities within the consortium can impact across a wide range of industrial sectors and application domains, from communications to consumer-related products, and life sciences to industrial manufacturing. The access to top-level experts and leading photonics technology platforms provided by the ACTPHAST 4.0 consortium is realized through focused innovation projects executed in relatively short timeframes (typically 6-9 months) with a critical mass of suitably qualified companies with high potential product concepts. The technical innovation support is supplemented by expert business and financial coaching supports to help ensure that the innovation activities are also commercially focused and primed for market success.

ACTPHAST 4.0 is particularly suited to the needs of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who do not have the financial resources to invest in in-house R&D expertise and state-of-the-art technologies, nor to undertake risky innovation projects. ACTPHAST 4.0 support is heavily subsidized for projects undertaken with SMEs (100% subsidy for the first 30K€ of costs for an innovation project and 75% subsidy for all project costs over 30K€ including follow-on projects with the same company. For large-scale companies, the subsidy is 50% on all project costs). ACTPHAST 4.0 is designed to provide open access to photonics innovation support for all European companies who meet the eligibility criteria, and we have strict governance structures and systems in place around the key persons responsible for running the program to ensure that ACTPHAST 4.0 remains true to its mission and mandate, and that all decisions are open, transparent and properly accounted for.


The Photonics Materials and Devices Laboratory participates in ACTPHAST representing FORTH-IESL and its photonic activities in whole; while providing niche know-how in advanced sensors based on photonic crystal fibres and microstructured optical fibres for diverse applications.

Project Details

TitleACceleraTing PHotonics innovAtion for SME’s: a one STop-shop-incubator
Project Number779472
Start date01/11/2017
Duration48 months
Call IdentifierH2020 ICT-30-2017: Photonics KET 2017,b,i
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