Partner Institutions

University of Birmingham 

The University of Birmingham is the coordinator of the project and provides a number of specialists with expertise in chemistry, genetics, zebrafish and mouse models, neuroscience and multidisciplinary project management. A diverse but highly collaborative and interdisciplinary group, the School of Clinical & Experimental Medicine has well over 200 research-active staff who together hold more than a quarter of the Medical College’s total funding (around an eighth of total University funding).

There are also over 500 honorary staff and 100 support staff administered by the School. The Neuroscience and the Genetics  groups are located in the School. The School of Chemistry is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for synthetic chemistry  and DNA/oligo synthesis, this coupled with recent investment in core and specialist analytical facilities means it is ideally equipped to deliver the synthetic, knowledge transfer and training outputs of the project.

Art Photonics 

Art photonics was founded in 1998 in Berlin, Germany to develop and produce specialty fibers, fiber probes, laser cables and bundles for very broad spectral range from UV to Mid IR. While FlexiRay® fiber cables and bundles are focused on applications in laser technologies and medicine, the other product line FlexiSpec® provides the best fibre solutions for process-spectroscopy in biotechnologies. Our 32 employees – among them many experienced chemists, physicists and engineers – have been enabled the steady growth of our company during the last years. ART is an expert in developing and manufacturing of special fibre optic products like spectroscopy probes for Mid and Near Infrared, Raman and Fluorescence. The company uses modern innovative technologies to develop unique tiny probes for biomedical research. FlexiSpec® fiber probes enable biomedical tissue diagnostics in vivo. ART develops not only fiber optic products but also different fiber couplers for applications like beam launching of high power lasers, adaption of FT-spectrometers for use with fiber probes (NIR, MIR) and coupling of different LED sources to single fiber or fiber bundles.


Acquifer AG was founded in 2012 as joint venture of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and other founding partners. The company integrates the expertise from life sciences and technical disciplines to tackle the challenges of modern data-intensive automated imaging workflows in biomedical research. The company is embedded in a larger network of industrial partners and maintains active collaborations with scientific and pre-clinical research labs; including participation in FP7 and H2020-MSCN funded projects. Acquifer has developed robotic imaging machines (IMs), machine-grade robotic screening microscopes for robust and reproducible automated imaging of sensitive samples. Additionally, Acquifer has developed the modular IT platform HIVE that is optimized for the networking and computing requirements of modern detectors and microscopes, allowing for decentralized storage, processing and sharing of large-scale digital datasets.

Aston University 

The Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies (AIPT), in the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS), is one of the largest photonic groups in UK, an internationally leading research centre in the field of lasers, fibre-optics, high-speed optical communications, nonlinear photonic technologies and biophotonics. AIPT has an impressive portfolio of grant funding, industrial and international collaborations, spin-out companies, highly cited research papers and patents. The Institute has facilities and infrastructures that are ideally suited for research and training activities across different subject boundaries. The Institute is well funded from a range of funding bodies including EPSRC, EU, UK Royal Society, Leverhulme Trust and UK and international industry. The Institute has also a strong record in training post-docs and PhD students.

East China University of Science and Technology 

As a member of Project 211, East China University of Science and Technology enjoys a high allocation of funds. The organisation’s lead, Yitao Long, is a leading analytical chemist with expertise in SERS and sensing device construction. East China University of Science and Technology will also provide translational expertise and is regarded as one of the best schools of Chemistry in China and among the top 50 worldwide. The total number of full-time students has reached around 24,140, including 15,460 undergraduates, 7,110 postgraduates studying for master’s degrees and 1,570 Ph. D. candidates.

Femtonics Ltd 

Femtonics Ltd., as an earlier spin-off company of the Institute of Experimental Medicine concentrates on R&D of Two Photon microscopes for the fast increasing area of (neuro) physiological studies. The company brings together its high-end technical solutions and scientific knowledge, visions and experience in the very competitive field of Laser Scanning Microscopy, in which its systems are tuned for the fastest 2D and 3D biological experiments, cutting-edge brain research and pharmaceutical developments. The 8 years young dynamic company has already ca. 80 employees (physicists, biologists, chemists as well as optical, mechanical and software engineers, economists, marketing specialists), 7 PCT patents, 6 independent products with 12 upgrade possibilities and accessories, which allows serving our customers unique needs everywhere in the world.

Fudan University      

Fudan University is a major participant in China’s basic science research and in high-tech innovation. In 1929, a School of Science was established at Fudan and then complemented with several applied sciences. In over six decades and with efforts from generations, Fudan is striking to achieve world class quality and nurtured quite a few emerging applied sciences that are crucial to national and regional social and economic development. In the 22 disciplines listed by ESI, there are 15 from Fudan rank among top 1%, which earns the 2nd place in China. Chemistry, Material Science, and Mathematics all rank among top 100 in the world.

Glucoset AS 

Glucoset are a point of care diagnostics company based in Norway. They focus on continuous monitoring of glucose in patients in the ICU. They own significant intellectual property in the area of optical fibre technology for reporting on biological analytes in vivo. They bring expertise in sensor development upon the tip of fibre optic manifolds, and their state-of-art platform technology has been demonstrated to be tuneable to a variety of analytes outside the glucose arena including selective DNA recognition. With expertise in the development of systems resistant to degradation in vivo and a track record in diagnostics their knowledge transfer potential both into and out with the consortium will be significantly enhanced by secondment activities.


Humeltis is a spin-off company of the University of Pecs, and focuses on advanced tissue engineering. Humeltis owns a patented technology of building in vitro three-dimensional lung tissue models, which does not require either stem cells, nor any artificial scaffolds. Apart from healthy lung tissue, Humeltis developed several disease models, such as COPD lung, peripheral alveolar model for cystic fibrosis, a model for lung cancer and various bronchial barrier models. The models have been used extensively studying various pathways; physiological and pathological processes. Apart from using primary cells obtained from cell banks Humeltis advanced its technology to create in vitro patient specific cancer tissue cultures with the objective of providing customized diagnostic services for patients. Humeltis developed and patented a chemosensitivity assay capable of predicting the efficacy of any chemotherapeutic agents or combinations. The method is being tested in human clinical trials in pulmonary and primary brain cancer and interim results show 89% diagnostic accuracy.

Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology 

The Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology is one of the leading neuroscience research institutions in the world. It counts one Nobel laureate and one BRAIN Prize recipients among its faculty of ten investigators. Institutes of the Max Planck society are funded entirely by the German government. Investigators from the MPI of Neurobiology have successfully attracted EU Funding (e.g., Synergy Grant in 2013, two ERC Starting grants in 2014, FET RIA in 2016).

M Squared 

M Squared is an internationally leading manufacturer of next-generation diode-pumped solid-state lasers and photonic systems, (40% annual revenue growth and a GM of 60%). In 2012 it was named the 8th fastest growing technology company in the UK and the fastest in Scotland (Deloitte Fast 50). The team at M Squared has significant experience in managing and exploiting collaborative R&D projects, exemplified by 4 new products (Firefly IR, Firefly Imager, Dragonfly, ICE-BLOC-AC) that were the result of Innovate UK and European projects. M Squared’s dedicated Innovation Business Unit is led by Dr N. Hempler, a commercial scientist and innovator with experience of 30 successful European and UK R&D projects. The success of M Squared Laser to blend diverse and emerging technologies into novel products with class-leading capabilities is shown in their long-standing success in the design of award winning laser systems. M Squared enjoy a proven track record in translating technology from the development laboratory to the market place. The marriage of the state-of-the-art optical, electronic and mechanical design and fabrication of M Squared, coupled with the fundamental photonics R&D expertise, makes it ideally positioned to capitalise and exploit the technology proposed.

University of Pécs

The University of Pécs has over 20,000 students, of which more than 3,800 are international students, 2,000 lecturers and researchers and 10 faculties. It is one of the largest higher education institutions in Hungary and the centre of knowledge in the South Transdanubian region. Its roots date back to 1367.
The mission of UP is the development of innovation-oriented and knowledge-based economy: to build a bridge between the economy and science by supporting industry with its research capacity, support the technology transfer of the research results to create marketable solutions and exchange international experiences with research and educational institutions to create synergies.

University of Utrecht 

Established in 1636, Utrecht University has evolved into a leading modern research university with a growing international reputation. With some 4,600 students and 2,100 employees, Utrecht University’s Faculty of Science has become established as one of the largest scientific institutions in the Netherlands. Utrecht University spans the entire spectrum of academic research and neuroscience research at the UU includes basic studies in animal models and development of imaging technology, as well as studies in translational neuroscience, experimental psychology and clinical applications. The synaptic physiology lab (Wierenga) is embedded within the Bio-Imaging Center with excellent microscopy facilities.

Wigner Research Centre for Physics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences

This interdisciplinary project requires expertise in physics, especially in optical and vibrational spectroscopy and development of optical devices. The Applied and Nonlinear Optics Department of Wigner has significant expertise in these fields. The Wigner Research Centre for Physics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences is the leading research institution in physics in Hungary. It has numerous grants from the European Framework programmes and H2020. The Applied and Nonlinear Optics Department deals with the development of optical measuring systems, vibrational and optical spectroscopy, study of femtosecond lasers, and ultrafast and attosecond physics, and crystal physics research.