Photonics play an important role in applications that span from brain and neurosurgery to pollution control. Photonics projects funded by the European Union achieved outstanding results, here are some examples.

Mid-Infrared Solid-State Laser Systems for Minimally Invasive Surgery:

MIRSURG logoBrain and neurosurgery require tools which allow operations to be made with the highest precision in order to avoid any unnecessary damage to the tissue. Lasers operating at a wavelength of 6.45 µm with a pulsed beam would be ideal as they would ablate single cells and minimize the collateral damage. Currently, only Free Electron Lasers (FELs) can produce laser beams with the right properties, but they are highly expensive and only available in a few laboratories.
MIRSURG has developed alternative solid state laser sources, very small and inexpensive,  that can be integrated in a handy table-top laser system, allowing the treatment of many patients close to their houses.

Access Centre To Micro-Optics Expertise, Services and Technologies

ACTMOST LogoThe EU-funded project ACTMOST provided companies, mainly SMEs, with expertise and concrete solutions in micro-optics through "Innovation Projects". ACTMOST successfully supported 29 companies with €1.2 million over a period of 36 months. They developed innovative products enhanced with photonics functions, targeting industrial sectors as diverse as biomedicine, green energy, safety and security, or transport.

The follow-on project ACTPHAST will considerably expand the range of photonics technologies and services which will be provided to SMEs. It aims at improving the business potential of a much larger number of SMEs, with an overall funding of €8 million. ACTPHAST is expected to be at the forefront of the Photonics Public Private Partnership.

Photonic sensing of hydrocarbons based on innovative mid infrared lasers

SENSHY LogoThe Research Project SENSHY was founded by the EU under the ICT FP7 Programme. Preserving the environment and reducing pollution is a big challenge in everybody's life nowadays. Everyone can make a difference when it comes to reducing waste and pollution. The SENSHY project developed a new gas detection systems based on Mid Infrared (MIR) Lasers. The aim is to facilitate a unique world-wide detection of impurities in real time, thus avoiding chemical waste being produced frequently and in high quantities. The newly developed laser source facilitates new gas detection systems in a reliable and low-cost manner, and could for instance reduce dangers in mines.


For further information, please visit the European Technology Platform Photonics21


31 January 2014
Last update: 
9 May 2017
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