Pixpolar Oy receives Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Phase 1 funding to develop image sensors for low light conditions

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Finnish SME Pixpolar Oy has developed and patented a novel image sensor pixel readout configuration called the Modified Internal Gate (MIG) that provides superior low light performance compared to existing technologies.

This will allow, for example, image sensors in cameras to read a pixel specific signal even in non-optimal low light conditions. The firm firstly targets outdoor low light optimized high-end black & white security and surveillance cameras, aiming to improve the image quality and thereby increase the probability for offenders to get caught during the nighttime. With the support from the SME Instrument, Pixpolar Oy will be able to cover the initial assessment of technical feasibility and market potential for the new image sensor.

Invent Baltics OÜ supported Pixpolar Oy in preparing the project proposal to Horizon 2020 dedicated SME Instrument, under the Open Disruptive Innovation topic. The SME Instrument is a funding instrument under the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program that supports innovative Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in Europe and associated countries. The instrument aims to fill the gaps in funding for research and innovation at early stages and thereby accelerate the exploitation of novel solutions to address key societal challenges or enabling technologies.

Pixpolar Oy received the support from the first round of SME Instrument funding for Phase 1 projects. In this round, the instrument received in total 2602 eligible project proposals, out of which 6% received funding. The toughest competition was within the Open Disruptive Innovation (Information and Communication Technologies) topic, where 3% of 886 eligible proposals received the funding. Pixpolar Oy was the only successful applicant from Finland under the Open Disruptive Innovation topic.

The SME Instrument Phase 1 funding supports SMEs to cover the funding for initial feasibility assessment and business modeling for the novelty. Phase 2 funding is targeted to SMEs with particular focus on product development, demonstration activities and market replication. The next cut-off date for Phase 1 and Phase 2 project proposals is December 17, 2014. In 2015 and onwards, there will be a cut-off at the end of each quarter. Invent Baltics OÜ provides initial consultancy regarding funding opportunities within the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program free of charge.

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