SPIE Professional April 2013: Bonus Web Content
SPIE is committed to the success of its members who are making the world a better place with innovative optics and photonics technologies.
As a service to the community, SPIE Professional keeps an updated list of funding opportunities for optics and photonics businesses, researchers, and students. The sampling below of grants programs and photonics competitions listed below is not intended to be a comprehensive list.
(Updated 6 June 2013)
• Submissions are open for the 2014 edition of the Zayed Future Energy Prize to recognize excellence in the fields of renewable energy and sustainability. The competition represents the vision of the late president of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, who championed environmental stewardship. Candidates can apply in the categories of large corporation, small- to medium-sized enterprise, NGO, or global high school. Nominations are also sought for the lifetime achievement award. Deadline for submissions is 14 July. More
• Several programs of the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) support international research and educational activities. The Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) supports projects in which advances in research and education would not occur without international collaboration. The PIRE competition will focus on Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability (SEES) and developing a diverse, globally-engaged U.S. science and engineering workforce. The next PIRE solicitation will be issued in June 2014. Awards will be made in the August-September 2015 time period. More
• Photonics21 has created a legal entity for and renewed its committment to a photonics public-private partnership (PPP). The organization of 1800 representatives of photonics industry and science in Europe wants to leverage initial public funding for technology development as part of the forthcoming "Horizon 2020" program. The proposed Horizon 2020 budget would invest €7 billion for the PPP to deliver technology innovation and commercialization on a scale not seen before on the continent. The Photonics21 Board of Stakeholders approved the establishment of the Photonics PPP Association at its annual meeting in April. The legal entity would spend €5.6 billion on the PPP, provided that the European Commission commits €1.4 billion. The first call for proposals in Horizon 2020 is expected sometime in the summer. More
• The European Space Agency seeks entrepreneurs with innovative ideas for using space technology, applications, and services in a non-space environment. Funds can be used for seed-capital investments, startups and early-stage growth capital for companies using space-related technologies or satellite applications in non-space fields. Support also comes from the ESA Business Incubation Centres. Several open calls are ongoing. More
• The Germany Ministry for Economy and Technology, as part of its corporate support programme, enables the participation of new, innovative startups in international trade fairs in Germany at favourable conditions. Eligible companies are German SMEs, have less than 10 million euro in annual revenues, have been founded within the last 10 years, and have invented and are producing a product in Germany. More (in German)
• Staff at the U.S National Academies reviews applications for its Research Associateship Program four times a year. Deadlines for applying online are 1 August, 1 November, 1 February, and 1 May. More.
Competitions and prizes in optics and photonics
• SPIE will award $2,000 travel scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students attending an SPIE symposium during the 2013-14 academic year. More
• SPIE Corporate Member Open Photonics is partnering with the XPRIZE to identify and match innovators from the global photonics community with teams competing in the $10 million Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE. The aim of the competition is to stimulate the development of a simple, precise, and reliable handheld wireless device capable of diagnosing a set of 15 diseases. The device will measure key health indicators such as blood pressure, respiration rate, and body temperature. More
• SPIE Education and Outreach grants provide funds to not-for-profit organizations such as universities, optics centers, primary and secondary schools, youth clubs, and photonics industry associations to buy supplies for science programs and fairs, to train teachers, and to support summer camps and other activities that increase optics and photonics awareness. Some $85,000 in funding is available. The next deadline to apply for an SPIE Education and Outreach grant is 31 January 2014. Apply online at spie.org/outreach.
Information on U.S. Government Grants
Grants.gov is the best starting point to find and apply for U.S. federal grants for optics and photonics technologies.
Several research endeavors that received funding from the U.S. Commerce Department's Technology Innovation Program show the range and impact of photonics in improving our quality of life.
Other resources for federal grants in the United States:
Information on European Research and Innovation Programmes
Research Framework Programme 7 (FP7) runs through 2013 at which time Europe's Horizon 2020, with more than €80 billion for 2014-2020, takes over.
Opportunities for photonics organizations under Horizon 2020 are explained in an April 2012 SPIE Professional article.
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