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First Calls For EU's €80 Billion Horizon 2020 Research Programme


€700 million earmarked for photonics 

Research partnerships between the EU, the private sector and Member States have presented their first calls for projects and partners under Horizon 2020, the EU's €80 billion research and innovation programme. €700 million of this is earmarked for a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) on photonics, a field considered to be of strategic importance for European industry.

The Photonics PPP's interests are optical communication for data centres, high-throughput laser-based manufacturing, and Photonics Integrated Circuit (PIC) technology. 

Optical communication for data centre research will focus on optical inter- and intra-data centre transmission, switching and interconnects facilitating Tb/s interface speeds and Pb/s network throughput. 

The work on high-throughput laser-based manufacturing will include development of high-power, high-efficiency laser sources (both continuous wave and pulsed); and novel technologies and devices for beam delivery and for processing of multiple beams from laser source arrays. 

PIC research will include device, circuit and fabrication technology suited for cost-effective volume manufacturing on semiconductor or dielectrics based photonic integration platforms.

Goals include a ten times reduction of power consumption and cost in communication technologies for exa-scale data centres; significant productivity increase to industries using laser-based manufacturing; measurable productivity increase in the manufacturing of complex PICs;  and sustained break-through innovations in new photonic products fabricated in Europe.

The window for proposals is scheduled to open on October 15th 2014. The deadline for submitting those proposals is April 14th 2015.

Horizon 2020 runs for seven years (2014 to 2020) and aims to produce breakthroughs and world-firsts by taking ideas from the lab to the market. It is seen as a means to drive economic growth and create jobs.

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