Browse the new technology shelf

Browse in the new technology shelf
Foto: Sebastian Lotz © Fraunhofer IAO


More than 50 photonics innovations to borrow and make

What trends and disruptive innovations will photonic technologies enable in the coming years? With its “PHOTONIC TOWER” technology shelf, Fraunhofer IAO invites makers, companies, researchers and students to find answers to this question.

The photonics technologies Fraunhofer IAO has collected for its PHOTONIC TOWER technology shelf let makers, researchers and students test and implement their own ideas, allowing individuals or small working groups to independently develop innovations. Many of the more than 50 technologies on the shelf are new. Over the past six months, they have been used to successfully implement ten maker projects, including a light-controlled robot, a 3D scanner and a cell phone microscope.

Accelerating innovations and fostering dialogue

Innovators can borrow the technologies provided on the PHOTONIC TOWER shelf free of charge and share their project progress with the public. The only requirement is that they actively participate in a lean prototyping workshop organized by Fraunhofer IAO. A particular focus of Fraunhofer IAO’s technology shelf is to foster connections between the creative do-it-yourself culture and innovative companies, and supports makers’ innovations. In addition, the playful interaction with technologies in collaboration with experts from a variety of disciplines stimulates creativity. In the future, companies will be able to participate in the PHOTONIC TOWER within the framework of three cooperation models: sponsoring technology, setting tasks for makeathons or carrying out innovation projects with makers. All three models give companies access to the latest Fraunhofer IAO innovation and technology methods.

PHOTONIC TOWER at the “LASER World of PHOTONICS” trade fair

Fraunhofer IAO will be represented at LASER World of PHOTONICS, the world’s leading trade fair for photonics components, systems and applications, where it will have a miniature version of the PHOTONIC TOWER technology shelf on display at the Open Photonics Booth, B3.328. The trade fair will take place in Munich from June 26 to 29, 2017. There will be a 24-hour makeathon at the trade fair on June 27 and 28. Interested makers and companies are invited to visit the booth to discuss cooperation opportunities. It is recommended that appointments for such discussions be made in advance.

The PHOTONIC TOWER technology shelf is part of a research project involving a modular system for realizing optical systems – in German,“BaKaRoS – Baukastensystem zur Realisierung optischer Systeme.” This project is sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) under its “Open Photonics” funding program. It was launched in early December 2016 and runs through the end of November 2019.