Call for applications extended by the Enabling Technologies & Innovation Competences Challenge Project

Enabling Technologies & Innovation (ETICC) is a project led by the Aston Institute of Photonics which offers small and medium businesses specialist knowledge and expertise to help them develop new solutions, products and processes.

The project can assist businesses with finding grant funding and preparing grant applications, refer to specialists in relevant external organisations, such as Intellectual Property Office, Department for International Trade and other, identify opportunities for collaboration across Aston University and wider, across the region.

Enabling Technologies and Innovation Competencies Challenge Project Key Enabling Technologies & Laser Technology 

An open call for applications has now been extended until the 30th June 2020. Challenge project part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

This Call consists of two streams:

i. Generic Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) stream, which offers expertise and support to SMEs in development of new innovative products and services using the following technologies:

- photonics

- advanced materials

- micro and nanoelectronics

- nanotechnology

- industrial biotechnology

- advanced manufacturing technologies.


ii. Industrial Application of Laser Technology stream that is focused on exploring together with small & medium businesses

- how existing laser technology can help SMEs to improve existing products, services

or processes;

- application of laser technology to new areas.


A laser is a device that emits a light beam with a high brightness (much brighter than natural radiation sources like lamps) that can be used in many instruments and for various purposes. Laser technology has been widely adopted in the variety of industry sectors and applications. High

brightness allows tight focusing of a laser beam to obtain a high optical intensity sufficient to change physical properties of materials (including their destruction). Lasers can have a broad or a very narrow optical spectrum (e.g., optical supercontinuum sources and single-frequency lasers). This allows a flexible exploitation of the light coherent properties in different sensing systems (e.g. optical coherence tomography, gyroscopes). In addition, laser sources with a broad spectrum

become a powerful spectroscopic tool allowing detection of various substances at molecular level. In combination with new technologies - artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, Big Data and other - there are even wider opportunities. Below are a few examples from the vast variety of laser applications. This is by no means a comprehensive list.

- Manufacturing: laser cutting, welding, marking and engraving

- Construction and Transportation : LIDARs (stands for "light detection and ranging") – an active form of remote sensing for support of engineering planning, transportation corridor mapping and change detection. LIDARs measure distance to a target by illuminating the

target with laser light and detecting the reflected light. LIDARs allow to build a 3D picture of the surrounding space and objects in it, and are extensively used in cartography and other various mapping tasks for automotive, maritime, and airspace navigation (including autonomous cars, airplanes, boats, etc.)

- Food/Drink Manufacturing: Raman and mid-IR spectroscopy for detection and analysis of organic and inorganic materials and substances

- Telecoms: data transmission with optical fibres

- Life Science: diode lasers for non-invasive examination, diagnostics and treatment

More information about lasers and a variety of laser industrial applications can be found on the internet, for example here:


To find out more about this opportunity or get support for your business, please do get in touch with our business support team who will be happy to assist you.

You can call us on 0300 770 2245 or email us at