Delivered by Digital Catapult, as part of the Smart Nano NI consortium, FutureScope Photonics NI is a nine-week programme which will support up to ten Northern Ireland companies in the adoption, development, validation and scaling of photonic technologies for industry challenges.

Photonics is the science and technology of light and photonics technologies can help to add efficiencies, reduce waste and increase sustainability in manufacturing operations.

With an emphasis on quality control, FutureScope Photonics NI is aimed at Northern Ireland companies in either the manufacturing, construction, agritech or pharmaceuticals and medical devices sectors which would like to adopt commercial photonics solutions into their processes.

The programme covers Innovation Practice, together with photonic techniques, including imaging, sensing and spectroscopy, as well as complementary digital technologies, such as Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence, to enhance quality control processes.

Supported by Digital Catapult and Smart Nano NI photonics experts, participants will create a proposal for an actionable prototype photonics solution for an internal challenge within their business.

Companies have until 23:59 on Sunday 26 March to submit completed applications.

Benefits and support

FutureScope Photonics NI offers the following benefits to Northern Ireland companies:

Training across the advanced digital technology stack

Training in photonics, internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies, their industrial application, use cases and market potential.

Access to expertise

Global experts in photonics, the internet of things (IoT) and data science

Innovation workshops

Training in innovation methodologies and tools, as well as business challenge and opportunity mapping.

Peer and industry networking

Networking and learning opportunities from peers in the same and similar fields

Who should apply?

Digital Catapult is currently seeking up to ten Northern Ireland companies working in either manufacturing, construction, agritech or pharmaceuticals and medical devices to participate in FutureScope Photonics NI. 

  • Applicants must be working in Northern Ireland
  • Companies must be industry facing, and have a current quality control process 
  • Applicants must be eligible to receive £8,000 in-kind of State Assistance 
  • Applicants must be a UK based registered company, or prove they are a company that has an establishment in the UK
  • Applicants must have the need or desire to develop solutions enabled by photonics technology

FutureScope Photonics NI is suitable for people in the following types of job roles (*please note that the programme requires at a minimum the attendance of two people per company at each session):

  • Management team
  • Innovation team/department
  • Change Managers
  • Quality Assurance Managers
  • Quality, Manufacturing, Process and/or Operations Engineers
  • IT / Integration
  • Quality Technicians

Selection criteria

Applicants will be asked a series of questions about their business and technology readiness levels, which are not scored, and three questions about their quality control process. 

Application will be assessed depending on how the company best answers the three questions. Each question has a scoring of 10 points. For example, if your company suggests that the introduction of photonics would have no positive impact on your business, and does not provide evidence or examples then you may score 0 points. We aim to see evidence backed answers where possible.

The application process should take no more than 15 minutes.

How to apply and next steps

Applications will close on Sunday 19 March.

An overview of the process is outlined below.

  • Applicants submit their registration of interest using the form below
  • Applicants will be automatically sent the application form via email, to be completed via our application platform, Submittable.
  • Applicants must submit their application by 23:59 on Sunday 26 March
  • Applications will be reviewed and shortlisted
  • The participants for the programme are chosen by a panel of expert judges and informed on Friday 31 March

Apply now

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FutureScope is delivered by Digital Catapult, the UK authority on advanced digital technology.