The combined annual revenues of the about 500 photonics firms established in Europe are of about half a billion Euros. Their need for business development finance is likely to be between one to ten billion Euros. However, access to finance is a major challenge for Europe generally and even more so for the photonics industry.
The Venture Capital activity in Europe is about 1/5th of USA rates and 1/20th of California rates. Total VC flows in Europe are currently about €4 billion/year. However, the photonics sector in Europe secured just 1% or less of all VC deals.
The European Investment Bank in 2015 arranged €24 billion in loan funding to SMEs and midcaps. But photonics firms were unable to raise any EIB debt finance that wasn’t related to real estate and none of the large Juncker fund deals approved to date has benefited the sector.
There is a clear need to boost opportunities in the field and this event, after the successful first edition of last year in Rome, aims to tackle this goal by introducing dozens of Europe’s hi-tech photonics entrepreneurs to trade and financial investors, bringing together those who can accelerate the development of better equity and debt vehicles and consolidate a vision and a strategy for greatly increasing flows of finance.
This year the event will be an initiative of the FP7 project ACTPHAST and will be organized with the support of high-ranking members of regional, national and European photonics organisations. EPVF is organised in association with the International Photonics Event in Veldhoven on 1 and 2 June 2016.