Bootcamps: Photonic solutions for industrial challenges

Together with PhotonDelta, two bootcamps have been organized for multidisciplinary teams of PhD students to identify possible integrated photonics-based solutions to industrial challenges. 

The PhotonDelta Application Labs Bootcamps consist of brainstorming sessions to address innovation challenges set by potential customers of the PhotonDelta ecosystem, namely equipment manufacturers and system integrators. Sessions are organized involving relevant experts from companies and scientists from knowledge institutes. The objective is to create baseline for possible follow-up R&D projects with those customer companies.

Firmness of fruit

The first Application Labs Bootcamp held in the fall 2019 addressed challenges set forth by Storex. This company is specialized in controlled atmosphere technology, which is applied worldwide for example in fruit storage. Storex wants to improve the monitoring of the firmness and de-hydration of fruit in storage. In the three day bootcamp, PhD students explored how integrated photonics can play a role in this challenge. ‘I am happy to have made use of this tool and of the outcomes. This provides a solid base that can be now used to define the right way forward in our research’, said Eugene Rokx, driver of the Innovation program at Storex.

“Fascinating what the team was able to come up with in a few days.”

Bram Visser | Hendrix Genetics

Measuring egg characteristics

During the second bootcamp, held in February 2020, the challenge was set by Hendrix Genetics. Hendrix Genetics is a global multi-species animal breeding, genetics and technology company. The company is searching for different ways to measure fertilization and egg characteristics. In this bootcamp, a team of TU/e researchers worked out ideas on how to perform non-invasive measurements by using photonics and spectroscopy. After three days of hard work, the team presented their ideas to the company when visiting the InspirationLab of Hendrix Genetics in Boxmeer. 

The participating PhD and postdoc researchers were enthusiastic about being able to use their knowledge on integrated photonics and their fresh thinking to identify promising concepts and propose research directions under such a pressure cooker setting. ‘It was fascinating what the team was able to come up within a few days’, says Bram Visser from Hendrix Genetics. ‘This is a true learning experience for our students by leveraging their knowledge and connecting to concrete industry needs,’ says Andrea Fiore, scientific director of Institute for Photonic Integration.

‘PhotonDelta’s objective is to drive the growth of the promising Dutch integrated photonics ecosystem. The Application Labs Bootcamps are a low-threshold, rapid-response, flexible tool to get customers engaged with our partners. This way customers can explore whether integrated photonics could offer a solution to their innovation need,’ explains Giuseppe Coppola, Chief Strategy and Business Development at PhotonDelta.

More information: www.photondelta.com