Photonics expertise for Birmingham and West Midlands SMEs

Looking for some free business support? Why not photonics?

Aston University is currently participating in two projects funded by the European Structural Investment Fund (ESIF) :

IPSS, Innovative Product Support Service, partly funded by ESIF, is coordinated by Wolverhampton University and provides support to regional businesses with a number of technologies including  photonic available from AIPT. Businesses will initially receive a 2-day review of their proposed product/technology. The results of the review are used to promote businesses with the most viable propositions through to a second phase of the programme that offers 4-days of funded support.  In some cases, eligible companies will also be able to access a Research Collaboration to assist with further development. 

ESIF project IPSS

BDC,The Big Data Corridor, is a new initiative led by  Birmingham City Council in partnership with Aston University, Future Cities Catapult, Centro, Telensa, Innovation Birmingham, local SMEs and community groups of the Eastern Corridor Smart Demonstrator. BDC project will satisfy the demand for new or improved services based on the availability of, access to and new insights gained from data. SMEs will be supported to use data to create new services and products that respond to specific challenges to deliver to beneficiaries in East Birmingham, generating social and environmental value alongside hard economic impacts. It will create new businesses, help existing companies expand and provide quality new jobs for local people. 



ETICC - Enabling Technologies & Innovation Competences is a project led by

Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies and Aston Institute of Materials Research.

 Main key areas of project activity are:

  • Photonics (science and technology of light)
  • Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering
  • Industrial Biotechnology
  • Nanotechnology
  • Advanced Materials
  • Micro / Nanoelectronics
  • Digital technologies
  • Data and system integration

The £2.8m project is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

The Enabling Technologies programme can provide specialist early stage /new product development services to help small businesses overcome technical and resource barriers. This includes access to the specialists, capabilities and state of the art analysis facilitiesavailable in the Aston University Institute of Photonic Technologies and Aston Institute of Materials Research.

The project can also assists 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 across wider region. View more



With mutual agreement, AIPT are able to offer resources for initial investigations at no cost to you.  At the moment we are visiting companies onsite and holding free seminars for local companies. 

ERDF visit and consultancy
ERDF workshop
ERDF photonics
ERDF why