Business Support

The Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies contributes to the improvement of regional economic and innovation performance by engaging with SMEs across the West Midlands

How AiPT can help

Our input helps them to develop new capabilities, products and services. UK-based companies can benefit from support of three European-funded projects offering SMEs expertise, capabilities and use of state-of-the-art facilities. 

AiPT can support companies with a range of services, including: 

  • Assistance in keeping up with cutting edge optical communication systems of ultrafast and large capacity and 5G technology; 

  • Taking advantage of novel design and fabrication of photonic devices, laser micromachining and prototyping; 

  • Getting in touch with optical fibre sensor and sensing technologies for a variety of parameters in many applications.

We can collaborate with companies with a number of ways: 

  • Providing technical consultancy and assisting with ERDF/ESIF projects; 

  • Application of Innovate UK / EU funding; 

  • Providing access to state-of-the-art test facilities.

Our AiPT team regularly holds a series of tailor-making workshops for business to disseminate the research output and promote business opportunities in the photonics industry and its applications. 

Working with industry 

ETICC: Enabling Technologies 

The Enabling Technologies & Innovation Competences Challenge Project is a three-year-long £2.8m project, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The ETICC project started in August 2018 and is running until 31st July 2021. The Project aims to solve a range of innovation challenges by supporting 129 small and medium businesses from Greater Birmingham and Solihull and Black Country Local Economic Partnership areas.

The project is designed to help reduce key barriers to innovation for small and medium businesses—those being lack of time, resources and staff. Through the provision of expert advice in photonics technologies, materials research and computer science, the ETICC project helps businesses develop competence to innovate and develop new products and services. 

By the end of March 2020, the project had already assisted 50 businesses, providing them with one-on-one consultancy, advice and opportunity to use the laboratories and equipment of the Aston Institute of Photonics Technology and the Aston Institute of Materials Research.

Key Areas of Activity
  • Photonics (science and technology of light) 

  • Advanced manufacturing and engineering 

  • Industrial biotechnology 

  • Nanotechnology 

  • Advanced materials 

  • Micro / nanoelectronics 

  • Digital technologies 

  • Data and system integration 

Funded Support Available to Businesses
  • Product design 
  • Engineering analysis 
  • Electronics development 
  • New product planning, development and assessment 
  • Market research 
  • Technical feasibility 
  • Engineering prototyping 
  • Photonics and electronics technology integration 
  • Advanced laser-based manufacturing 
  • Photonics and materials knowledge transfer workshops 
  • Photonic sensor development and adaption 
  • Concept generation 
  • Optical tools development 
  • Polymer design, fabrication and material characterisation 
  • Material analysis, for example: mechanical strength, nanoscale features and defects, molecular analysis, thermal behaviour, etc. 


Contact Us
If you would like to find out more about working with us, please feel free to contact us via: