TU/e spin-off SMART Photonics secures 100 million in additional funding

July 12, 2023

New lenders include players from the semiconductor industry and financial institutions.

Photo: SMART Photonics

SMART Photonics, the Dutch foundry for photonic integrated circuits, has secured an additional round of funding of 100 million euros from a group of strategic industry and financial Dutch players. SMART Photonics is a scale-up company that started as a TU/e spin-off in 2012 and currently is a strategic partner of TU/e.

“This is great news”, says TU/e President Robert-Jan Smits. “This underlines the fabulous potential of TU/e photonics research and the strength and the spirit of the Brainport region.”

Among the group of new lenders are strategic players from the semiconductor industry (ASML, NXP and VDL Groep) as well as financial institutions (ING, BOP Impact Ventures and Deep Tech Fund, which is part of Invest-NL and partly funded by the ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy).  Previous investors, including Innovation Industries, BOM, PhotonDelta and KPN Ventures have joined in this funding round again. The government of the Netherlands will provide € 60 mln public funding as part of the approved National Growth Fund project PhotonDelta as previously announced.

With this new round of funding, SMART Photonics will be able to strengthen its role as the leading manufacturer of next generation chips in a growing, resilient European photonic value chain.

“We are very pleased to be supported by this new group of lenders and are grateful for the continued support of our existing investors,” comments Johan Feenstra, Chief Executive Officer of SMART Photonics.

Essential next steps

ASML, NXP and VDL Groep jointly stated: “Financial support from the three fellow-Brainport region companies gives SMART Photonics the best opportunity to take the essential next steps to further mature the organization, strengthen technical capabilities and extend their manufacturing base. Our additional funding will help strengthen the Brainport and wider Dutch and European Photonics ecosystem. SMART Photonics becoming a strong and versatile foundry can greatly benefit the growing number of fabless photonic chip design companies in the Brainport region.”

Demissionary minister Micky Adriaansens of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy: “We believe in the Netherlands as a leading international hub for the development of the fast growing integrated photonics industry. That’s why we invest both through the National Growth Fund project PhotonDelta in the whole ecosystem and through our dedicated Deep Tech Fund with specific funding for start-ups and scale-ups who focus on innovative complex technology such as SMART Photonics. For the prosperity and economic growth of the future and to maintain our competitiveness, it is necessary that we develop innovative key technologies like integrated photonics within the European Union.”

Media contact

Frans Raaijmakers
(Science Information Officer)

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