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European Cluster project RespiceSME started in January 2016 within the H2020-ICT-2015 programme

Ten European partners from France, Greece, Sweden, Austria, Spain, Ireland, Lithuania, the UK and Germany will launch the RespiceSME project at the beginning of 2016. The project aims at boosting the innovative power of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in optics/photonics and related technologies. Clusters and platforms in the participating countries will be the major players in this project.

In a first step the team will develop methods and find possibilities to determine the innovation potential of SMEs in the photonics industry. The target group consists of at least 30 companies from the partner countries.

The second step involves an examination of the value chains of these companies. Methods like "heatmaps for value chains" that were developed in the previous "ASPICE" project will be used in this process. The results in the fields of economic activities, technological development status and innovative potential will then form the basis for proposals from the consortium to give content-related support to programs in infrastructure, training and private and public financing.

In the framework of this project OptecNet Germany will particularly look into the question how SMEs can be supported by regional policies. In this context it will analyse the regional innovation strategies of the involved regions that were determined in the RIS3 process.

The project partners are:

  • Steinbeis European Center (Germany, coordinator)
  • Opticsvalley (France)
  • Foundation for Research and Technology (Greece)
  • OptecNet Deutschland e.V.
  • Economic Association PhotonicSweden
  • Photonics Austria
  • Southern Eastern Cluster in Photonics and Optics (Spain)
  • National University of Ireland Galway
  • Laser and Engineering Technologies Cluster, (Lithuania)
  • Knowledge Transfer Network (UK)

RESPICE SME - Regional and National European Support for Photonics Innovation Clusters enhancing SMEs Innovation Potential

RespiceSME’s aim is to help enhance the total innovation potential of European photonics SMEs. As a leading photonics economy, Europe’s target has to be the maintenance of its competitiveness by continually investing in its SMEs so that they will better exploit their innovation potential, generate more business collaborations among photonics companies and initiate more cross sectoral collaborations with the growing sectors of healthcare, environment, energy, etc. as also described in the Photonics21 roadmaps. In order to achieve this target, innovation clusters play a significant key role as facilitators to enable their members to gain access to multiple resources: RD&I platforms in public and or private institutions, capital providers, education facilities, firms, other members and clusters.


With its unique 3-dimensional(3D)-approach and through strong innovation cluster collaboration, RESPICESME is focusing on enabling the innovation potential of high-tech photonics SMEs (dimension 1), stimulating business collaborations in and beyond photonics (dimension 2) and building innovation capacities for value creation in SMEs (dimension 3).


Project duration: 01/2016 – 12/2017
Participating countries: Germany, France, United Kingdom, Austria, Sweden, Spain, Greece, Ireland, Lithuania