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Cheryl Boyd
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HighTechXL and PhotonDelta: building integrated photonics ventures

PhotonDelta and HighTechXL are forging a strong partnership to advance integrated photonics technologies and build deep-tech ventures to take the tech to market. In so doing, we also strengthen the integrated photonics ecosystem, folding in stakeholders across the globe.

It’s a match made in heaven.

How does this partnership work? We’ve laid it out in Q&A format to introduce each party, their pillars and how we work together.

What is integrated photonics?

Photonics uses photons (light) to transfer information. Photonic chips, also called photonic integrated circuits (PICs), integrate photonic functions into microchips to create smaller, faster and more energy-efficient devices. PICs can process and transmit data much more effectively than their electronic counterparts. As a result, PICs have emerged as the ideal technology for quantum computing.

What is PhotonDelta?

PhotonDelta is an ecosystem that researches, designs, develops, and manufactures solutions with integrated photonics technology. Connecting pioneers in the field with investors, and viable markets, PhotonDelta helps to take the industry forward with funding, investments and R&D roadmaps. PhotonDelta is located in the Netherlands but connects and collaborates around the world.

What does PhotonDelta offer in the Integrated Photonics Venture Building program?

• The Chief Technology Officer of PhotonDelta coaches integrated photonics companies in the program. He provides high quality technological and business advice based on his 40+ years’ experience in the electronics industry in both R&D and executive positions.

• PhotonDelta benefits

• A global network of universities, research institutes, PIC companies, suppliers, investors, incubators, and buyers

• Visibility at PhotonDelta events, in the monthly newsletter, on social media, and listing in the PhotonDelta Ecosystem Overview

• Supporting initiatives for prototyping, like guided use of Multi-Project Wafer runs, Pilot Lines, R&D projects by the Photonic Integration Technology Center (PITC), selected EU programs and subsidies. More info

• Public and private funding to further develop and commercialize your products or technologies. PhotonDelta has its own fund but also good relations with various deep-tech investors. More info

• Participation in industry roadmapping activities to identify market trends and needs, connecting your product and service to the wider industry and exclusive market intelligence

PhotonDelta focuses on four market segments

• Data & Telecom

• Medical & Healthcare

• Agrifood

• Engineering & Transport

What is HighTechXL?

HighTechXL is the Netherlands’ only deep-tech venture builder. Based at High Tech Campus Eindhoven, HighTechXL mobilizes the region’s unique skills and networks by combining deep tech with entrepreneurship.

HTXL scouts advanced technologies from world-renowned R&D centers and tech companies, builds high-performance teams around the technologies and guides the teams through a rigorous, nine-month venture building program.

HighTechXL is focused on building startups that tackle grand societal challenges society faces today, and startups must adhere to one or more of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

‍HighTechXL and PhotonDelta recently co-hosted a group of international visitors from Japan and Germany for a technology demonstration using Photonic Crystal Surface Emitting Lasers, or PCSELs. Kyoto University’s Ryiochi Sakata lead the demonstration at HighTechXL.

How do HighTechXL and PhotonDelta work together?

Integrated photonics technologies have been a focus of HighTechXL for the past year, so it’s not a coincidence HighTechXL and PhotonDelta are coming together now.

We collaborate to identify integrated photonics technologies around which HighTechXL will build high-performance teams that take the tech to market, further strengthening the Brainport ecosystem and establishing the Netherlands as a world leader in integrated photonics.

‍The timing is perfect.

The partnership was signed on the same day PhotonDelta announced the news they landed €1.1 billion through the Dutch National Growth Fund to usher in a new generation of semiconduction technology. The funds will enable PhotonDelta to further invest in photonics startups and scale-ups with the goal of creating an ecosystem with hundreds of companies by 2030.

Building integrated photonics deep tech ventures at HighTechXL

The HTXL team works closely with the PhotonDelta team in identifying technologies around which they can create ventures. PhotonDelta helps identify and/or recruit co-founders to join teams and enter the program. They also connect co-founders and teams to relevant stakeholders in their worldwide ecosystem. This network will prove invaluable as teams advance through the program toward launch.

It’s a brilliant overlap of networks. HTXL has a vast network in the Brainport region, which includes photonics companies such as EFFECT Photonics, SMART Photonics and PhotonFirst.

PhotonDelta has a strong network here and abroad, bringing together suppliers, universities, investors and others. And, of course, there is the promise of funding through their new fund.

HTXL is now recruiting co-founders (CEOs, CTOs and CBOs) to join integrated photonics ventures in the upcoming cohort.