SME Instrument is a competition organized as part of the European Commission program Horizon 2020. This program supports SMEs that have high growth potential and focuses on the cooperation between science and industry. Phase II of the SME Instrument focuses on product development and preparation for commercialization. The European Commission selects potentially disruptive businesses to invest in and support as part of the SME Instrument. SMEs with a strong growth potential and the ambition to become world-market leaders could receive up to €2.5 million in funding, and world-class business support and mentoring.

We are on the verge of 5G arrival, the new standard bringing much higher speeds and more reliable connections to millions of end users and possibly billions of connected IoT devices. 5G networks require many more small sites than other cellular systems, and the industry agrees that their demand for bandwidth can only be met with fixed optical fiber connections. These are not available in many locations, and space in existing cable ducts is limited while accessing them is costly. At the same time, even at the speed of light, current Single-Mode Fibres have reached their theoretical capacity limit. Global IP traffic demand for urban fiber networks is forecast to grow at a blistering CAGR of 45% in the coming years. The problem is that current fiber infrastructure cannot continue to support the foreseen demand without an upgrade to carry the increased traffic beyond its theoretical capacity. However, deploying a completely new infrastructure is costly and therefore, not an option. It is a challenge to meet the growing demand using the existing infrastructure – this requires a new approach. At InPhoTech, we see this “Capacity Crunch” as an opportunity. Our patented IPT-CORE telecommunication technology uses seven cores in every single microstructured fiber as separate spatial channels, allowing the most effective use of our well-developed multiplexing methods to increase optical throughput seven times in the same physical space. By being fully compatible with existing infrastructure, IPT-CORE provides a cost-effective replacement for target customers such as 5G operators, providers of FTTx services, Long Distance Connections and Data Centres. Our ultimate goal is to become the world’s first mass-scale multicore optical fiber supplier, putting the EU at the same level as the US and Asia as global fiber providers.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 880054.