The Flagship for Photonics Research and Innovation (PREIN) is one of the six flagships funded by the Academy of Finland. The Flagship program was launched in 2019 is an eight-year program that aims at supporting future knowledge, know-how, and sustainable solutions to societal challenges as well as advancing economic growth by developing new business opportunities.
PREIN is a research and innovation platform focusing on light-based solutions covering the entire innovation value chain from fundamental and applied research to prototype and technology development, industrial collaboration and start-ups. PREIN is a national initiative between four partners:
- Tampere University (TAU) – also the coordinator
- University of Eastern Finland (UEF)
- Aalto University (Aalto)
- VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT)
Photonics research is carried out in several research groups in the partner organizations. In Tampere University the Research Unit of Photonics and in the Research field of Chemistry and Advanced Materials belong to the PREIN flagship. In the University of Eastern Finland all photonics activities are brought together in the Institute of Photonics. In Aalto University Photonics and Nanotechnology research groups are housed in the Department of Electronics and Nanoengineering and Optics and Photonics in the Department of Applied Physics. In VTT there are several research groups and different projects that work on Photonics and related applications.
The PREIN organizational structure:
- Steering Committee
- Scientific Advisory Board
- Board of Stakeholders
- Management Group
- Supporting Teams: Communication Team, Outreach Team and Innovation Team
The overall rationale of PREIN is to enhance and support the Finnish photonics ecosystem by merging the leading-edge photonics research activities for long-term joint work and creating direct links from fundamental to applied research and product development, addressing the fragmentation of the photonics community in Finland which is one of the main roadblocks to the growth of the field.
Beyond its scientific objectives and springboard role in the economic growth to the Finnish photonics ecosystem, PREIN also has an important societal impact through its outreach activities and education objectives. In particular, PREIN aims at educating the next generation of professionals in the sector, reaching out to schools to raise interest of children in photonics and promote careers in science and technology for women, as well as informing the general public on the importance of light science and technologies for the society.