On May 22nd-23rd the Politecnico of Milan (Italy) hosted the 2nd General Assembly of the IQONIC project . The project, which inserts into the optoelectronic technology’s context, will have significant consequences not only for the optoelectronic manufacturing, but for the society as a whole, since it will have an impact on the environment and the economy of the European Union.
Optoelectronics is the field of technology concerned with electronic device application to the sourcing, detection and control of light. It encompasses the design, manufacture and study of electronic hardware devices that, as a result, converts electricity into photon signals for various purposes such as solar energy, telecommunications and general science.
Nowadays, optoelectronic technologies are rapidly expanding thanks to recent progresses in consumer electronic goods, solar energy, LED and industrial lasers. At the same time, new challenges are emerging on this market, such as the request for higher customisation and individualisation of demand together with the growing competitiveness from the American, Chinese and Japanese markets, consequently requiring a dynamic adaptation and a constant upgrade of the production systems.
The IQONIC project stems from the collaboration among companies and research centres in 7 European countries – Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, United Kingdom, Czech Republic and Switzerland – that, under the coordination of the Fraunhofer Institute, aims at developing a scalable zero-defect manufacturing platform, and will guarantee the flexibility and sustainability of the production processes, covering the overall process chain of the optoelectronic components.
The advances brought by IQONIC will improve the quality and the yield of laser components’ production, thanks to the greater flexibility and the possibility of reconfiguration of the production. Moreover, IQONIC will have an economic and social impact since it will reduce production costs, thanks to the use of recycled components and the optimisation of production processes, and it will create new jobs (about 400) thanks to the increase in profits given by the new technologies and methodologies achieved within the project. Ultimately, IQONIC will have important effects also at the environmental level since the use of recycled components will decrease waste production, notably of Critical Raw Materials as europium and yttrium.