Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies - ICT - PhotonHub Europe


PhotonHub Europe is a pan-EU photonics digital innovation hub. The project has 53 partners and it is coordinated by Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB), Belgium. The project has a total duration of 48 months.

Project descriptionphotonhubeurope.png

PhotonHub Europe will establish a single pan-EU Photonics Innovation Hub which integrates the best-in-class photonics technologies, facilities, expertise and experience of 53 partners from all over Europe, including the coordinators of EU pilot lines and local photonics hubs representing 18 regions, as a one-stop-shop solution offering a comprehensive range of supports to industry for the accelerated uptake and deployment of photonics. PhotonHub will provide European companies, in particular “non-photonics” SMEs and mid-caps that are first users and early adopters of photonics, with open access and guided orienteering to the following key support services: training and upskilling opportunities within PhotonHub’s Demo and Experience Centres throughout Europe and enhanced by digital tools for online learning; “test before invest” innovation support capabilities to engage with companies on highly collaborative Innovation Projects aimed at TRL acceleration from prototyping (TRL3-4) to upscaling (TRL5-6) to manufacturing (TRL7-8), and complemented by targeted business and IP advisory supports; and support to find investment through investment-readiness coaching and investor match-making organised in collaboration with major regional and European venture fora and deep tech Investor Days. PhotonHub will uniquely support cross-border innovation activities of European companies, while simultaneously working closely with the local photonics hubs to develop and roll out best practices of the “lighthouse” regions for ongoing regional financial support of SME innovation activities and to support the creation of new innovation hubs covering most regions of Europe. Finally, PhotonHub will fine-tune and implement its business plan for long-term sustainability in the form of the PhotonHub Europe Association as a durable entity which is deeply rooted within the wider ecosystem of local, regional and EU-DIHs for maximum leverage and impact on European competitiveness and sovereignty.


These are the objectives of PhotonHub Europe:

  • Building awareness with companies and providing orientation and access as a one-stop-shop
  • Increasing the knowledge and skills in photonics amongst the workforce of European industry
  • Accelerating SME uptake and deployment of photonics through expertise and innovation
  • Support for prototyping, upscaling & manufacturing combined with business coaching
  • Supporting companies to find investment for scaling of their business
  • Building a sustainable innovation hub which is central to an increasingly integrated and expanding pan-European innovation ecosystem covering most regions of Europe

Role of Ghent University

Ghent University has the ambition of playing a leading role in training and skill development activities in the field of silicon photonics under the framework of ePIXfb – the European Silicon Photonics Alliance (https://epixfab.eu). These training and skill development activities will go all the way from ideation to testing of silicon photonic ICs through a newly established silicon photonics experience center at Ghent University.

More specifically, each year a 3-day training course will be offered multiple times at the experience center. Each episode of the course will provide industry, especially those involved in PIC-based product development, with the basic technical skills in ideating, designing, fabricating, and testing SiPh PICs. The course will cover various forms of SiPh such as thin SOI, thick SOI, LPCVD SiN, PECVD SiN, and Ge- on-Si. The training will provide hands-on training to:

  • Determine the right SiPh technology platform & design environment for a given application
  • Design a SiPh chip and associated key fabrication steps
  • Develop test-beds and test of SiPh PICs for various applications.




Prof. Roel Baets
Department of information technology (INTEC)
Photonics Research Group
Phone number: +32 9 264 33 29