In a Nutshell

The RespiceSME project aims to reinforce the innovative capacity of Europe’s photonics Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), clusters and national platforms by stimulating targeted collaborations in and beyond photonics. RespiceSME proposes new approaches for stronger innovative effectiveness using a 3-dimensional approach. In the first dimension, RespiceSME will evaluate and stimulate the innovation potential in order to strengthen the innovation capacity of high-tech photonics SMEs. In the second dimension, RespiceSME will enhance the global technological exploitation of photonics innovation capacity by analysing different value chains valuable for high-tech photonics SMEs.

This will allow significant leveraging of non-photonic sectors such as Environment / Energy, Transport, and Manufacturing, thereby, enabling the penetration of new markets and/or new application areas close to markets. The third dimension focuses on creating a bridge over the ‘Valley of Death’ to increase the competitiveness of the European photonics sector by developing Best Practices for enabling photonics SMEs access to European and regional Research Technology Organisations, harnessing educational and training programmes aligned with their specific needs, determining next generation regional innovative smart specialisation strategies and providing access to public and private financial supports.

Photonics Training Courses offered in Europe

Photonics are taught at many Universities and academic institutions across Europe. However, many students do not know about the excellent opportunities for studying Photonics or getting a specialization in Photonics, e.g. in the framework of a Bachelor or Master programme.

The RespiceSME consortium compiled a comprehensive overview of relevant Photonics training courses offered in France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom to support students in their search.

RespiceME Value Chain Analysis

The RespiceSME Value Chain Analysis is a tool for SMEs seeking to expand their business beyond the photonics sector. It helps SMEs to acquire a general understanding of the targeted non-photonics field of application and to assess the innovative potential of their photonics product for this field.
The tool also challenges SMEs to reflect on the larger potential for photonics in the enabled application field and to identify gaps/weaknesses regarding the TRL of their products in the value chain.

With the Value Chain Analysis results’ SMEs are equipped to develop their own, tailor-made strategy for growing their business beyond the photonics-only sector.

Watch the video introduction to the RespiceSME Value Chain Analysis below to get more information about the tool and how to apply it.

Mapping List of RTOs

Looking for a pilot production line, targeted services related to know-how transfer or research organisations to support your innovation project?

The RespiceSME consortium provides you with a mapping list of European Research Technology Organisations (RTOs). This list primarly covers the photonics sector, but also RTOs from other sectors where photonics penetrate or find end-users such as transport, energy/environment and manufacturing.

Innovation audit questionnaire

The following questionnaire is part of the RespiceSME Innovation Audit. It aims at evaluating the innovation potential of high-tech photonics SMEs. The RespiceSME consortium analyses 7 main areas for innovation practice which have been adopted for the purpose of the project and identified as the most suitable to capture the innovation potential of high-tech photonics SMEs. The 7 main areas are: 1) Ideas creation and creativity, 2) Design and new product development, 3) Competence management, 4) Competitive technology intelligence, 5) Project Management, 6) Knowledge Management, 7) Value Chain analysis.

Innovation audit questionnaire


Project Deliverables

D1.1 - Development of innovation potential index for photonics SMEs

D1.2 - Innovation audit tool to measure the innovation potential of high-tech photonics SMEs

D1.4 - Coaching methodology developed, tested and improved

D2.1 - Methodology for value chain analyses

D2.2 - Report on the first EU photonics cluster meeting in Paris

D2.3 - Report on the second EU photonics cluster meeting in Barcelona

D2.4 - Analysis of penetration of photonics in two inter-sectoral business case studies, stimulated by value chain analyses, following on-line and face to face brokerage

D2.5 - Final report summarizing the achievements of two organised brokerage events and additional supported events during the project

D3.1 - Report - cartography (mapping) including questionnaires to RTOs and SMEs

D3.2 - Methodologies for accessing RTOs, including cross-sectoral business cases

D3.3 - Report on sources for education & training programmes for photonics

D3.4 - Report on the workshop with students and SMEs on best practises and case studies on the constellation and content of courses and programmes (on PhD and Master level)

D3.5 - Best practices catalogue for regional policy support of SMEs and photonics clusters

D3.6 - Report on RIS3 process in regions outlining how SMEs can positively impact the development of Smart Specialisation Strategy from the bottom up in regions with different priorities for photonics

D3.7 - Best practices of regional financial supports & instruments for SMEs and a Memorandum for photonics cluster managers as a service provider to high-tech SMEs

D4.1 - Dissemination and exploitation plan

D4.2 - 1st Update on the dissemination and exploitation plan

D4.3 - 2nd Update on the dissemination and exploitation plan

D4.4 - Report on all attended events for dissemination

D4.5 - Report on collaborations with other Photonics CSAs and policy makers

D4.6 - Best practices handbook

D5.1 - Press release via Photonics21

D5.2 - RespiceSME Corporate Identity

D5.3 - RespiceSME website and social media channels

D5.4 - Communication kit

D5.5 - 1st RespiceSME electronic newsletter

D5.6 - 2nd RespiceSME electronic newsletter

D5.7 - 3rd RespiceSME electronic newsletter

D5.8 - Photonics videos


Johannes Verst (verst(at)

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No. 687961
Project Duration: 01.01.2016 - 31.12.2017