An investment of €35,000,000 in photonica chip producer Smart Photonics was made to keep the company out of foreign hands.
Mona Keijzer, State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Climate, wrote this in a letter to the House of Representatives. Keijzer learned last year that the company was looking for investors to increase the production capacity of wafers. This way, the company wanted to accelerate and strengthen the technology and its position as a global supplier of the chips.
Keijzer writes that there were investors from other countries who wanted to dig deep into their pockets. That is why the Ministry of Economic Affairs made €20,000,000 available as a loan for Brabantse Ontwikkelings Maatschappij (Brabant Development Company, BOM). BOM in turn invests the money in the high-tech company.
More than half
With these twenty million, the state accounts for more than half of the total investment, in which a number of private and public-private parties also are participating.
Furthermore, the State Secretary writes in the letter that Smart Photonics has built up thirty years of knowledge from fundamental and applied research at TU/e. In addition, according to Keijzer, the role of the company is crucial in the North Brabant high-tech ecosystem. Especially the role of the chip maker as a partner and supplier for photonics start-ups from the Brainport Region is important.
New generation of applications
“I see that photonics is playing an increasingly important role in the development of new and more efficient applications that contribute to important societal challenges. The technology of Smart Photonics helps Dutch companies to develop chips for a new generation of applications in the field of communication and precise sensors in telecom, medical equipment and healthcare, transport and industrial processes”, the State Secretary concludes.
Translated by: Bob