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About us

ACTPHAST (Access CenTer for PHotonics innovAtion Solutions and Technology support) is a unique “one-stop-shop rapid prototyping accelerator” for supporting photonics innovation by European companies, which is financially supported by the European Commission under FP7.

ACTPHAST 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 Partners), enabling companies to exploit the tremendous commercial potential of applied photonics. There are 23 research institutes who together make up the ACTPHAST Partners.

Together the ACTPHAST 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 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 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.

As a result of its innovation support activities, ACTPHAST is expected to deliver a substantial increase in the revenues and employment numbers of the supported companies by enabling faster time-to-market of new product opportunities and addressing emerging markets where photonics is a key enabling technology. Furthermore, through its extensive outreach activities, ACTPHAST will ensure there is an increased level of awareness and understanding across European industries of the technical and commercial potential of photonics, especially amongst first users and "non-photonics" end user industries.

ACTPHAST 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 support is heavily subsidized for projects undertaken with SMEs (100% subsidy). For large-scale companies, the subsidy is 50% on all project costs.

ACTPHAST 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 remains true to its mission and mandate, and that all decisions are open, transparent and properly accounted for.

Project Details


   Access Center for Photonics Innovation Solutions and Technology Support

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Start date



   48 months

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