News & Events

Spotlight on Photonics at European Venture Forum in Dublin

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, launched the European Photonics Venture Forum which is being held in Dublin for the first time. The event, which markets the photonics sector, will see the top 30 most innovative and emerging European photonics start-ups showcase their companies to selected international venture capitalists and corporate investors to explore fundraising and partnership opportunities.

Photonics is the generation, manipulation and utilisation of light and is a key enabling technology -providing game-changing solutions to some of our biggest societal challenges. This includes the area of optical communications to revolutionise the speed of data transfer for the continued growth of the internet or in the area of biophotonics, where photonics technology can significantly improve the prevention, diagnosis and therapy for a multitude of illnesses such as cancer. However, despite its ubiquity in a vast array of consumer products, such as smartphones, 3D applications and smart driving cars, photonics and its potential to transform industries and societies is still largely obscure to those outside the photonics community.

As one of the fastest growing sectors in the world, the global photonics market was worth €447 billion in 2015 and is estimated to reach ~€615 billion in 2020. Major global growth is expected in applications such as medical technologies, life sciences and optical communications – areas where Ireland is particularly strong.

Launching the event, Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, said: “Photonics is one of the globe’s most important future industries and an area in which Ireland can flourish. Here in Ireland, our photonics industry has been developing rapidly over the last number of years. There are over 25 Irish SMEs and start-ups who develop and use photonics technologies – all providing high skilled jobs throughout the country. Events such as the European Photonics Venture Forum are critical in supporting our burgeoning photonics industry by creating channels to finance for high potential photonics start-ups which will hopefully be the starting point for these entrepreneurs to build globally leading photonics companies.”

Professor Paul Townsend, Director of Irish Photonic Integration Centre (IPIC) and Head of Photonics at Tyndall National Institute commented: “IPIC and Tyndall are very proud to host this event in Ireland, particularly as many photonics companies spin out from the academic sector — highlighting the significance of photonics research for the development of the industry. This event will provide significant exposure to the European photonics SME and start-up community by providing cross-border relationships and investment syndications for Europe and photonics investors, while also developing a network of future strategic partners which can be leveraged in years to come”

Out of the 30 companies presenting at the event, an expert jury will select the 25 % top rated companies as European Venture Contest Finalists. These will have the privilege to qualify and present their business at the prestigious European Venture Summit (EVS) 2017 which takes place in Dusseldorf, Germany, later this year. Previous winners of the European Photonics Venture Forum, includes Irish company Pilot Photonics, a DCU-Tyndall spin-out.





For further information, please contact :


Aoife O’Brien,

Irish Photonic Integration Centre (IPIC)

087 902 1046


Notes to Editor:

About the European Photonics Venture Forum

This is the third edition of the European Photonics Venture Forum (‘EPVF’). The event, which has previously been held in Rome and Eindhoven, brings together entrepreneurs, investors, SMEs, multinational corporations and policy makers in an intense and high-energy programme of pitching, ideas sharing, networking and strategy setting. The main aim of the EPVF is to market the photonics sector to a wide investor community and create channels to finance for high-potential photonics businesses. The Forum will ensure photonics becomes a pillar of local regional development plans, mirroring the European strategy and driving more support and funding to the sector. See for more information.


About IPIC

IPIC is a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Research Centre that brings together over 100 researchers from the Tyndall National Institute, Cork Institute of Technology, Dublin City University and University College Cork to develop new light enabled technologies. Its work focuses on developing the next generation of highly-compact and miniaturised photonics technologies in order to tackle some of society’s greatest challenges, especially in the areas of Information Communications Technology (ICT) and Health. For more information see


About Tyndall National Institute

Tyndall National Institute is a leading European research centre in integrated ICT (Information and Communications Technology) hardware and systems. Specialising in both electronics and photonics – materials, devices, circuits and systems – we are globally leading in our core research areas of smart sensors and systems, optical communication systems, mixed signal and analog circuit design, microelectronic and photonic integration, semiconductor wafer fabrication, nano materials and device processing.