Creation of photonics cluster to diffuse advanced technologies to various industries through development of value chains and novel products
Problem addressed: The challenge is to modernize economic important regional industries with high innovation potential (but low technological development), through use of advanced technologies. It is a business-owned venture addressing this challenge.
How results achieved: The photonics cluster provides an integrated support mechanism to its members aiming to the increase of their competitiveness and their growth. The cluster sharing of knowledge is done through projects amongst members with complementary interests, aiming to jointly – develop, produce and launch novel products and services to international markets which can be used by a wide range of economic sectors (agro-food, health, logistics, energy). Low technology sectors at regional level can benefit from cluster methodologies & technologies to increase their innovation capacity and competitiveness. The Photonics cluster, capitalizes on work already done in Regional Innovation Strategies; facilitates interactions between research/academic institutes and businesses, as well as across businesses, through cluster intitiatives; supports sectors in transnational cooperation.
Stakeholders involved: High tech companies (Alpha Motion, CNC SOLUTIONS, Ili-CON, Lamda Technology, Miltech, Prime Laser Technology, Raymetrics, Theon Sensors, Thetametrisis, Vector Technologis) and high expertise organizations (NML/NCSR, Optcomm, PCRL/ICCS, Phasma, Praxi Netwrok/Forth); support from national and EU structural funds.
The participant organizations who set-up the cluster have also undertaken any funding issues. The cluster did aiming of creating projects and setting up joint projects and interactions between its members to provide tailor made solutions. Resource needed varies from 10.000 -50.000 Euro per year.
Evidence of success
Over 20 businesses and SMEs of the agro food sector in Atttica region have been using the photonics technologies to deliver new / differentiated products of high added value or exploit their innovation potential. Scanning systems for production errors, real time smart farming applications from field to market, imagine systems for automatic manufactiring are few examples. Results confirm strong evidence that photonics technologies can modernize low technology sectors at regional level.
The real challenge was to make beneficiaries understand that photonics technologies can help exploit their innovation potential in various ways, and that each solution is tailor-made to actual needs of each company. SMEs were not used in using advanced technologies in a low technology level sector.
Potential for learning or transfer
The GP is about creating a cluster that provides added value both to advanced and to lagging industries, developing value chains and novel products through provision of technologies, services and applications. Cooperation of companies with expertise in innovative technologies with, research and technology oriented institutes is a transferrable example, especially since the photonics technologies are applied directly to businesses and SMEs of advanced and lagging industries. Transfer is easy and direct through joint projects and initiatives. Photonics applications can help modernize and make competitive key economic sectors of regional innovation strategies fulfilling objectives of economic growth, social cohesion and creation of jobs. Photonics cluster provides solutions at a transregional level and build strong innovation bonds between European regions (more advanced - less advanced ones ) promoting competitiveness at broader scale
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