The place for (tech) startups! Click here for our offer in ALPHA

Investment accelerates TU/e spinoff MicroAlign

Signing investment microalign

A new investment from PhotonDelta and the Smart Industries TTT Fund managed by Innovation Industries should support MicroAlign in accelerating its technology and product development. MicroAlign plans to use the investment to optimize the quality of optical fiber-to-chip connections and begin exploring market opportunities for these products. The spinoff is located in Twice's startup hub Alpha.

Photonics is a key technology for industries such as aerospace, automotive, food technology, telecommunications and HTSM. The Netherlands has one of the most mature ecosystems in (integrated) photonics worldwide. "We are proud that both the Smart Industries TTT Fund and PhotonDelta have confirmed our ambitious plans and are working with us to successfully implement them," said MicroAlign CEO Simone Cardarelli. "We realize that our product development can only succeed if we improve our business opportunities at the same time. This new funding allows us to accelerate our commercial efforts as we continue to build our technology. We are pleased that PhotonDelta and Innovation Industries are supporting us in realizing this roadmap."

MicroAlign is a spinoff of Eindhoven University of Technology and the investment is indicative of the active valorization strategy at this university. In a growing number of cases, scientific research - linked to a PhD program, for example - results in new start-ups. This is often also the case around integrated photonics, as well-known scale-ups such as Smart Photonics and Effect Photonics have already shown. With its solutions around packaging and assembly, MicroAlign fills in another part of the ecosystem, making it more robust and cost-effective for both manufacturers and customers.

For us, this is indeed a great confirmation of the path we are on," said Jeroen van Woerden, managing director of The Gate, the platform for tech startups in the first phase of their existence. "We do everything we can to accelerate initiatives that arise within the university to become businesses. This often involves PhD or scientific research that eventually leads to the creation of a company, but The Gate is also very active in supporting students and tech entrepreneurs in the Brainport region with the successful launch of their startup."


MicroAlign is developing a revolutionary technology capable of affecting multiple optical fibers individually, through a novel micro-electromechanical system. The technology improves the quality of any optical fiber-to-chip connection, for dozens of optical fibers and with sub-micrometer accuracy. The goal of MicroAlign is to provide a solution that can relax the strict alignment tolerances in photonic chip testing and optical assembly. The proposed alignment method has potential for a number of applications ranging from datacom and telecommunications to sensing, lidar and infrared communications.

Pieter Klinkert, PhotonDelta fund manager, is excited about innovative startups like MicroAlign. "Their technology will contribute to the industrialization of the supply chain because it strengthens the back-end process in processes around assembly and testing. This will enable our partners to continue to produce more efficient products. The creation of start-ups like MicroAlign is also a testament to the positive environment for deep-tech entrepreneurs within our ecosystem. We look forward to supporting MicroAlign in their adventure to success."

Innovation Industries says it is always looking for investment opportunities in photonics-based companies. Pleuni Hooijman: "We have a long-standing relationship with PhotonDelta and know them as a strong partner for these investments. We believe in MicroAlign's vision and strategy and see great potential in scaling the technology. The start-up has already shown impressive developments in its first year of existence and is building highly innovative and meaningful products. Above all, MicroAlign has a great team of founders. All this gives us the confidence to invest in MicroAlign."