3 ECTS credits
84 h study time

Offer 1 with catalog number 4016187ENR for all students in the 2nd semester at a (E) Master - advanced level.

2nd semester
Enrollment based on exam contract
Grading method
Grading (scale from 0 to 20)
Can retake in second session
Taught in
Faculty of Social Sciences & SolvayBusinessSchool
Business Technology and Operations
Educational team
Marie Gruber (course titular)
Activities and contact hours
26 contact hours Lecture
58 contact hours Independent or External Form of Study
Course Content
All businesses and individuals make use, directly or indirectly, of (micro)electronics technology and ICT. Since the invention of the transistor in 1947 and the invention of the integrated circuit in 1958, all of these domains have undergone a significant (r)evolution. In this course we will examine some of the important industrial dynamics that accompany such (r)evolution.
Photonics is a technology that is applied in wide range of industrial sectors. Several of these industries are presently witnessing exponential growth: solar cells, LCD displays, (Organic) Light Emitting Diodes, industrial and night vision, telecommunications… Flanders and the VUB can boast world class researcher groups in this domain, and many Belgian firms (established and startups) are active in the application domains mentioned above.

In this course, we consider the relevant industries, business models, current and future developments and the role of regulations, standards and government in the industry. We investigate firm-specific topics such as commercialization, financial management, funding, business development and IPR strategy.

Importantly, not only the characteristics of mature companies are covered, but more so the relevant aspects of young, starting companies in the micro-electronics and photonics industry.

A number of relevant business cases are studied and relevant guest speakers are invited. 
The students can be asked to prepare case studies before attending class. 
Course material
Digital course material (Required) : Slides and readers provided, Canvas
Additional info

The default course language is English

Study material: slides and readers

Teaching Methods

Lecture: collective contact-dependent moments during which the lecturer engages with learning materials
- Seminar, Exercises or Practicals (Practical): collective or individual contact-dependent moments during which the students are guided to actively engage with learning materials
- Independent or External Form of Study (Self): independent study

This description of the teaching methods is indicative, in order to assess the expected study load.

Lecture: 26 hours

  • classical lectures: 12 hours (4 x 3 hours)
  • introduction guest lectures:  6 hours (4 x 1,5 hours)
  • guest lectures: 8 hours (4 x 2 hours)

Self: 58 hours

  • keeping up with the course material during the semester and run through background information, amounting to 1 hour per hour lecture:  26 hours
  • preparation exam: 32 hours (4 days of 8 hours)
Learning Outcomes

Algemene competenties

Students will:

  • Obtain an insight in the different business economic application domains of photonics and micro-electronics industries. 
  • Obtain a general insight in the structure and functioning of technological sectors.
  • Gain a clear view on the definition, size and the importance of the industries based on micro-electronic and photonic technologies.
  • Gain an insight in the history, current situation and trends within the industry.
  • Gain an insight on the relevant dynamics that have an influence on the start up of companies and (university) spin-offs in the industry.
  • Know and understand how functional domains of (start-up) micro-electronic and photonic companies (financial management, funding, business planning, marketing, IPR strategy and business development) are organized and influenced by the industry-specific setting.


The final grade is composed based on the following categories:
Oral Exam determines 100% of the final mark.

Within the Oral Exam category, the following assignments need to be completed:

  • Oral Exam with a relative weight of 100 which comprises 100% of the final mark.

    Note: Closed book, 3 open questions, 20 minutes preparation time

Additional info regarding evaluation

Presence at guest lecture is mandatory.


Allowed unsatisfactory mark
The supplementary Teaching and Examination Regulations of your faculty stipulate whether an allowed unsatisfactory mark for this programme unit is permitted.

Academic context

This offer is part of the following study plans:
Master of Business Engineering: Standaard traject (only offered in Dutch)
Master of Photonics Engineering: Standaard traject (only offered in Dutch)
Master of Applied Sciences and Engineering: Applied Computer Science: Standaard traject (only offered in Dutch)
Master in Applied Sciences and Engineering: Applied Computer Science: Standaard traject
Master of Photonics Engineering: On campus traject
Master of Photonics Engineering: Online/Digital traject
Master of Business Engineering: Business and Technology: Standaard traject
Master of Physics and Astronomy: Minor Economy and Business