Why is it free?


Technically, it is not free, it is paid for by European Regional Development Fund.

The Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies (AIPT) is currently running two projects - IPSS, Innovative Product Support Service and BDC, the Big Data Corridor funded by the European Structural Investment Fund (ESIF) to promote and support photonic technology by offering free consultancy and business support to small and medium-sized businesses in Birmingham and West Midlands region.

The development of new photonic technologies in the UK is currently considered by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Technology Strategy Board among the top priorities in development of innovative high-technology businesses.

However, a key issue facing businesses in the West Midlands is that most companies are unaware of photonics technologies and the potential advantages for application in their business.   

Aston University has strong expertise in the area of photonics and a successful history of transferring this knowledge to SMEs. This project will help to raise awareness by giving local businesses the opportunity to learn how photonics can fundamentally change their existing technologies and help their business to grow.


Through this project we are able to help businesses work together and test out new technologies to identify cost savings and help establish brand new products that will boost profits, support longevity of our regional businesses and help strengthen the local economy

Norman Price
Deputy Chair of the West Midlands ERDF Local Management Committee 

Contact us to check whether we could cut some operational costs for you too. At the moment we are offering two free options for SMEs

ERDF workshop

ERDF visit and consultancy