The European Photonics Industry Consortium has created a new workgroup dedicated to promoting venture and finance activities among its members. The new Venture and Finance Workgroup will focus on endeavors aimed at attracting investors to photonics, promoting trade investment among EPIC members, fostering SME development, and working with the public-funding sector on the continuous improvement of financing conditions for photonics entrepreneurs. Kurt Weingarten, a member of the EPIC board of directors, has been named chairman of the workgroup. He is founder of the Zurich-based laser systems company Time-Bandwidth Products, which is now a part of JDSU; he now serves as managing director of JDSU Ultrafast Lasers AG. James Cogan, senior analyst at PNO Innovation and coordinator of the European SME program LightJumps, will serve as the workgroup’s coordinator. Among initiatives planned by the group is a photonics venture event next year, which will focus on maximizing photonics entrepreneurs’ access of the new European Commission finance instruments, and a partnering program for increasing trade investment actions among members. For more information, visit www.epic-assoc.com.