A new era for free-form micro-optics

PHABULOuS consortium is unifying Europe’s leading Companies and Research & Technology Organizations (RTOs), through the creation of a self-sustainable pilot line for the design and manufacturing of free-form micro-optical solutions. These solutions will be integrated into high added-value devices, spanning from micro displays for augmented reality, to innovative systems for professional, automotive, and transportation lighting to optical effects for luxury. The PHABULOuS consortium will synchronize its efforts to translate urgent and high-impact industrial needs into industrially relevant predictive software packages, manufacturing tools and processes, characterization methods for quality inspection and integration schemes, all necessary for the successful demonstration of this technology in pre-commercial production runs.

There is an urgent need to provide miniaturized optical components due to the exponential growth of the micro-optics market over the last decade. This is in tandem with an increasing need for free-form micro-optics that can address the challenges set by the photonics market over the next five to ten years. Industrial demand for free-form micro-optics is a current market reality, however, the high access barriers to pre-commercial production capabilities in Europe prevent companies, especially SMEs, from commercially exploiting this technology.

Among the objectives of the project, are:
the general increase of the current technology and manufacturing readiness levels of free-form micro-optics
the implementation of 6 industrial user cases demonstrating pilot manufacturing in operational environments for applications spanning from augmented reality, to professional, automotive,
and transportation lighting to luxury
the establishment of an open-access, sustainable, distributed pilot-line infrastructure with a single entry point
the validation of the pilot-line services through the implementation of 20 industrial pilot cases in different fields, such as solid-state & day-lighting, photovoltaics, displays & imagers, consumer electronics & wearables, anti-counterfeiting & branding.


The PHABULOuS consortium consists of 19 Companies and RTOs along the whole manufacturing value chain, namely: CSEM as coordinator, JOANNEUM RESEARCH, VTT, Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, CEA, SUSS MicroOptics, Morphotonics, Nanocomp, WIELANDTS UPMT, LASEA, PowerPhotonic, Limbak, Microoled Sarl, Seisenbacher, Swarovski, HELLA, Zumtobel Lighting, EPICEuropean Photonics Industry Consortium, and Amires.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Grant Agreement nº 871710, in Public Private Partnership with Photonics 21 (