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PREIN – Flagship for Photonics Research and Innovation

The Research Council of Finland Flagship Programme promotes excellent research and versatile impact arising therefrom. The Flagship for Photonics Research and Innovation (PREIN) focuses on light-based technologies and their applications. Photonics and light-based technologies play a central role in all areas of modern life, including in telecommunications, biomedicine, health care, energy and environment, manufacturing, and consumer products. Photonics is an essential key-enabling technology involved in nearly every facet of a sustainable future, at the heart of solar energy, used in biodiesel production, for water purification, wind energy production, energy-efficient lighting, sustainable farming and forestry, and many more applications.


The Flagship for Photonics Research and Innovation (PREIN) was one of the first six flagships selected in 2019 with its funding period extending to the end of 2026. Since then, there have been two flagship programme calls, and in 2023 there are altogether fourteen flagships. 


The rationale of PREIN is to merge the leading-edge Finnish activities in photonics through the whole innovation value chain. Its four partners share the vision that future breakthroughs in photonics depend on deep understanding of light-matter interactions, materials and nanostructures with tailored response, advanced laser sources, and photonic integration.

Through rapid transfer of advances in these fields to potential applications, PREIN aims at producing disruptive innovations for a variety of application areas and markets, including portable and disposable sensors, ultra-precise LIDAR systems, and smart photovoltaic modules. PREIN will benefit to ICT, environmental and industrial monitoring and quantum technologies. Based on world-class research and commercialization experience, PREIN will leverage the full potential of joint work between its partners to significantly support the growth of the Finnish photonics ecosystem.

Through outreach activities, PREIN will advertise to the Finnish industry the opportunities provided by photonics for their business and together with LUMA-centers reach out to school children to inspire them in light-based technologies.


In addition to significant research impact, PREIN activities contribute to economic and social impact. The objective of PREIN for the economic growth is to significantly improve the exploitation of excellent research results to provide disruptive photonic technologies that are taken to market by start-ups or existing SME’s and large corporations. PREIN promotes close interaction between fundamental researchers, applied researchers and developers, and their contacts to the whole innovation ecosystem around them.

In addition to its objectives in terms of economic growth, PREIN also has objectives in broader societal context due to the major role of photonics in the society in general. The objectives to promote societal impact encompass the general political situation, research and innovation policy, economic situation, education, attitudes of the general public and the young generation, and funding instruments. The objectives are to promote science to the school children and students to increase the number of mathematics and science (STEM) students and to coordinate photonics education in Finland to guarantee skilful workforce to industry.  PREIN also aims to influence research and innovation policy within the partner organisations and legislation on the national and international levels. An overall aim is to reach out to the public to raise their interest in science and technology and photonics in particular.


Research Council of Finland

Funding source

The project is part of the Research Council of Finland's Flagship program

Coordinating organisation

Tampere University


Aalto University, University of Eastern Finland and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd 

FinnLight Photonics Research Intrastructure

FinnLight is a network of photonics research environments in Tampere University, the University of Eastern Finland and the Technology Research Center VTT. FinnLigh is closely linked to the Flagship for Photonics Research and Innovation.