Invest NL

Invest-NL to invest in EFFECT Photonics to scale up production

Invest-NL today announced its intention to invest € 5 million in Eindhoven-based photonics company EFFECT Photonics. Earlier this month, it announced an initial capital injection of € 31 million by a group led by Smile Invest and Innovation Industries, investors that specialise in innovative companies.

Invest-NL today announced its intention to invest € 5 million in Eindhoven-based photonics company EFFECT Photonics. Earlier this month, it announced an initial capital injection of € 31 million by a group led by Smile Invest and Innovation Industries, investors that specialise in innovative companies.

Other investors in the group include Brabantse Ontwikkelings Maatschappij, B-to-V Partners and PhotonDelta. The contribution made by Invest-NL brings the total investment to € 36 million. The money will be used to further expand the existing product line of optical transceivers for e.g. 5G networks and to scale up production capacity. R&D activities for the next generation of optical chips, with a capacity of more than 400 gigabits per second, will also be extended.

(Integrated) photonics is a chip-based technology that uses light signals (photons) instead of electrical signals (electrons). Photonic chips can generate, couple, filter and detect light signals. The chip-based technology developed in Eindhoven is the only photonics technology combining all these functions in one chip, allowing a complete optical system to be replaced by a single chip. Not only can these photonic chips send information at high speed through fibreglass cables, the technology involved can also be used to create ultra-sensitive measurement systems for the medical, automotive and agri-food sectors, for example. The quantum computers of the future will also make extensive use of photonic chips.

EFFECT Photonics is a spin-off from Eindhoven University of Technology. As a pioneer in photonic chips, it is one of the first companies to market a successful product based on the photonics technology developed by the university. EFFECT Photonics’ products enable network builders to enlarge the capacity of existing fibreglass networks without the need to lay additional underground cables. End users’ demand for internet bandwidth is rising sharply each year, and the roll-out of 5G connectivity and growth in homeworking due to the coronavirus pandemic has dramatically accelerated this trend. Upgrading the transceivers is thus a cost-effective solution.

Boudewijn Docter, co-founder and President of EFFECT Photonics: “Our company has come a long way in getting the photonics technology originally developed at TU Eindhoven market-ready. We’re delighted that Invest-NL has joined with the other investors to help us scale up our production and rapidly bring additional products to market.”

Ruud Zandvliet, Senior Investment Manager at Invest-NL: “The Netherlands has a unique ecosystem for photonics technologies. Within this system, EFFECT Photonics is a trendsetting player capable of developing complex, fully integrated photonic chips. This has enabled the company to acquire a leading position as a producer of the next generation of transceivers. By joining this investment round, Invest-NL is boosting the availability of financing for scaling up production and facilitating future R&D investments. This is a good example of the role Invest-NL is playing in strengthening the effectiveness of scale-ups, and it ties in with our aim of making the Netherlands more sustainable and innovative.”