2020 Penta Award for Excellence

The project DISPERSE within the EUREKA PENTA cluster programme managed by Industry Association AENEAS, was presented with an award for excellence during the EFECS 2020 online event on November 26th, 2020. The award was accepted by the project leader, Mark Van Helvoort from Philips Healthcare, on behalf of all 12 partners from the three countries involved in the project. DISPERSE set out to enable people with multiple medical implants to undergo Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans.


Currently, patients with a modern implant may be scanned under specific conditions, which causes lengthy examination times. The challenge for the DISPERSE project participants was two-fold: firstly, to develop and test active implantable medical devices (AIMDs) while also enhancing the MRI scanner technology to increase compatibility with the AIMDs; and secondly, to find ways to reduce the examination time and improve the image quality for more accurate diagnosis.

In addition to the main objectives, DISPERSE has led to enabling cross-market technology transfer, for instance the technology to increase efficiency in radio astronomy communications, and hereby further illustrating the diversity of applications that can often be addressed within PENTA projects.
The contribution of PhotonFirst regarded an extensive collaboration with Astron in the technology development for radio astronomy telescope applications, based on integrated photonics technology. Astron is active in the international science policy arena, especially regarding the future of radio Astronomy in Europe and the construction of the future, next generation Square Kilometre Array radio telescope.

PhotonFirst is front runner in the utilization of Integrated Photonic Circuit (PIC) technology in the industry across multiple markets. For this purpose, a PIC-based transmitter module is designed and prototyped, that intensified the work for the development of a satellite-based telescope. First a successful generic test package including the optical chip and RF electronics from Astron. And later-on the development of a dedicated System-in-a-Package demonstrator that exhibits the advantages of the miniature integration of PIC technology and electronics.

This PENTA effort has led to the opportunity for extensive Dutch contribution in the construction of the International SKA telescope – the world’s largest radio telescope.

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