A European research-and-development initiative, Encaps (enabling chip and package level photonics solutions) has been formed to develop cost-effective packaging methods for next-generation optoelectronic products. The expense of assembly and packaging has been a bottleneck to the mass production and deployment of photonic products.The consortium consists of 22 partners representing industries, universities, reliability laboratories and research centers engaged in photonics research. Among them are NovaPack Technologies of Trappes, France, and Dow Corning Ltd. of Coventry, UK.The project will explore materials such as silicone, getters, liquid crystal polymers and encapsulants for optical chip-scale packages, combined with collective chip and optics assembly and sealing processes at wafer and package levels. It was designed to generate knowledge about materials behavior, construction reliability and lifetime prediction. Applications at various levels of hermeticity requirements, including vacuum conditions, will be addressed.