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Hester Tak Business Development Manager PhotonDelta

PhotonDelta Cooperative 2018 Explained


Last updated: February 5th 2018: Scroll down this page to get a full-overview of the PhotonDelta Cooperative. Please note that several details on this page have recently been revised. If you're looking for a short-cut to register for the IP Cloud please use this link.


Please see below for details of the new membership discounts for 2018.



Building strong competitive advantages for our members

by Anna Nikiel and Hester Tak, PhotonDelta Cooperative

Why is there a need for a Cooperative?

The PhotonDelta Cooperative is a new international, professional membership organization with its headquarters in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Exponential growth of the global Photonics Industry comes through intensive, sustained cooperation between trusted partners.

We’re combining the powerful energy found in young scale-up companies with the experience of established photonics enterprises. We also have unique access to world-class Research and Development institutions across our region and across the world. That includes Universities as well as private corporate research centres.


Dr Anna Nikiel now leads the next stage development of the PhotonDelta Cooperative.

Our Four Guiding Principles

Over the last 18 months, PhotonDelta has done extensive research into the global photonics sector. We can see that the runway on product development time is getting much shorter as companies face growing international competition. Those discussions have led to the formation of the PhotonDelta Cooperative with 4 strategic goals.

We want to

  1. Connect - We actively link best-in-class innovation and research to best business practice. Local, National and Global.
  1. Amplify - PhotonDelta amplifies existing initiatives, strengthens existing collaborative networks and, when needed, helps to build new ones.
  1. Accelerate - We know from experience that a mix of formal and informal networks is the key to speeding up technology validation and time to market. Trust is key.
  1. Partner - We want to increase the flow of leading-edge expertise and investment to The Netherlands – to open up Europe’s photonics innovation to the rest of the world.


“Being a member of the PhotonDelta cooperative gives you fast track access to relevant IP before that intellectual property is published. That's a clear strategic advantage you can't achieve alone.” Dr Anna Niekiel


Already decided? Register for the IP Cloud now through this link

The Five Membership Benefits

1.      Early Access to Intellectual Property – the IP Cloud

We know that early access to knowledge gives our members a huge strategic advantage. PhotonDelta has created the first secure IP Cloud in which results from research will be accessible to members before publication. Being a member of PhotonDelta’ s Cooperative will give you automatic access to the secure IP Cloud. Get a front-row seat in the theatre of ideas, insights and outputs.

We fully understand the new European unitary patent system which is gradually coming into force in the course of 2018. Improved harmonisation of Europe's patent system has the potential to increase trade and FDI in high-tech sectors by up to 2% and 15% in the EU, leading to annual gains of EUR 14.6 billion in trade and EUR 1.8 billion in FDI.

The study, Patents, Trade and FDI in the European Union, carried out by a team of economists from the EPO, the University of Colorado Boulder and the London School of Economics, shows that, while patents already have a positive effect on trade and FDI in Europe, their impact is currently hindered by the lack of truly barrier-free EU-wide patent protection.

For European photonics SME's, it should be a lot cheaper than the existing system of validating patents separately in individual countries (e.g. The Netherlands, France, Germany, Belgium, etc.). It will be easier to grant technology licenses and will simplify administration. Over the next four years, national legislation will be amended in EU member countries to incorporate the decision of the directive.

Speeding up your time to market

Our professional collaborative network is already helping companies to accelerate their business by accessing IP they cannot develop themselves and in the knowledge that their own IP won't be blocked. Exchanging IP is designed to speed up research and development as well as reduce costs.

In the pre-competitive research phase, it's all about showing what your contribution is to a particular project. The PhotonDelta cooperative agreement ensures there are no free-loaders on the IP system.

How the Cooperative Works

Members of the Cooperative are automatically given a research license to everything they see on the PhotonDelta IP Cloud. However, if they wish to or need to use that intellectual property in a commercial setting, they will need to take out a license. 

  • In principle, all insights and research output in the IP cloud is shared between members. The exception is when a company fully funds a research project – then they can decide how to deal with the foreground IP. We have chosen to adopt “the payer decides” principle). If a company funds a research project for 100% on the basis of full economic cost (FEC) with a one-off upfront license fee of several €k, they will have a fully paid up license to any foreground IP that arises.  If they don’t pay FEC, license agreements can be negotiated during or at the end of the research project. A full overview of the Knowledge and IP sharing processes is available on request. 
  • The license has a low threshold – a standard upfront fee of €10K and an annual lease fee. The lease fee varies depending on the size of the licensee and are fixed in advance. There are no milestones and no royalties. Such payments that licensees have to make are nothing more than a cost to the company.
  • Rather than charging milestones and royalties, PhotonDelta encourages companies to invest in further research either on that same technology or a different area of interest.  Through this mechanism, companies will have low threshold access to licenses and be able to bring the licensed technologies to the market faster. PhotonDelta cooperative members get a full return on their investment and a fair price for their contribution into the ecosystem.


2.      Access to facilities and equipment

Nanotechnology and photonics require access to cleanrooms and high precision equipment. Our membership includes commercial cleanroom and lab facilities, plus access to Mesa+ and the NanoLab at the Universities of Twente and Eindhoven respectively. Smart use of overcapacity and well-structured access schemes will allow companies and researchers to collaborate in parallel, sharing relevant cleanroom facilities and equipment to reduce total development costs. Members may also qualify for research and development vouchers which help to offset chip development costs.

3.      Access to a highly-specialised network of people and companies

Trusted partners in our network already collaborate to test different development strategies simultaneously, significantly reducing time to market. Existing international technical alliances, such as JePPiX, coordinate fast and affordable access to trusted European fabs for both prototyping and low-volume chip production. Each of our members brings their own specific expert knowledge into the ecosystem, as well as a global network of customers.

The IP cloud also offers companies the opportunity to post anonymous calls for technology solutions and expertise to our secure network.

4.      Access to funding

New ideas and commercial opportunities in this innovative field always require high risk funding. PhotonDelta has already raised the interest of international (corporate) venture capital. This highly skilled and specialized network of specialists and serial entrepreneurs has a deep understanding of Photonics and can quickly spot growth opportunities. And PhotonDelta has close contacts with Horizon 2020 and other EC initiatives to stimulate photonics research and technology rollout.

5.      Market Intelligence and Media Outreach

We've partnered with the most respected, independent research organizations to examine and interpret the growing market for integrated photonics and related applications. The highly relevant facts and figures gathered are shared and discussed internally amongst members of the PhotonDelta Cooperative.

PhotonDelta is also pro-actively reaching out, both nationally and internationally, to share the European photonics success story with mainstream media. We do this by sharing case studies of successful SME's as well as following the growth of successful alliances like 5GPhotonics and the European Photonic Alliance. Members profit from our global communications expertise as well as gaining access to useful assets for use on their own websites and videos. By exchanging best practices and lessons learned between large and small enterprises, we are building on the hard work that has already been done.



Summary of Organisation Specific Benefits

The Cooperative has been set up to meet the needs of five different types of organisations actively involved in photonics. The two tables below outline the specific benefits for each organisation type.



Who can join?

Membership is open to companies and registered organizations directly or indirectly involved as supplier, end user or a financier across the entire Integrated Photonics value chain.

Annual Membership Dues 2018

The cooperative is professionally run and governed. We provide commercial value to each member in the order of €40,000 per year, when the value of strategic IP knowledge, representation, market research & insights is considered.

Founding members of the Cooperative are currently offered discount on this value, depending on the size and status of the organization.

Annual Fees for 2018

Universities, research institutions and start-ups not older than 5 years. €1500
All other companies: €2500

Next Steps

Please contact Dr Anna Niekiel who now heads partnership development: She can share the full membership details. Ask for the 3-month free trial to allow your company to understand the value that access to the IP cloud can bring. Please mention that you learned about this offer on the PhotonDelta website.

You can also register for the IP Cloud now through this linkAnna can explain more about accessing the IP Cloud and why there is a separate site requiring log-in. 

Legal Information

The official name of the PhotonDelta Cooperative is “Coöperatieve Photon Delta U.A.” The official seat is Eindhoven, the Netherlands. PhotonDelta operates under Dutch law.


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