Photonics Austria

Austrian Technology Platform for Photonics

Photonics Austria is the Austrian technology platform for photonics and was initiated by the Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT).

The platform is primarily used to network business, research and teaching in order to achieve a strong presence of photonics at the national and international level.

The main tasks of Photonics Austria are to secure the development of national and international research strategies and programmes in the field of photonics as well as to promote networking in Austria and with European activities.

Photonics - the technology of light - is the key to future megamarkets such as

  • autonomous driving,
  • 3d-printing,
  • Precision Farming,
  • Smart Cities and
  • Industry 4.0.

In the future, photonics will become increasingly important in most areas of modern life and will literally be everywhere, from smartphone displays to secure fiber broadband and energy-saving LED lights to laser operations.

Photonics Austria focuses on the provision of structures for the coordination of cross-industry, interdisciplinary cooperation, the creation of a strong presence of Austrian interests at national and international level. Level on opportunities for the further development and application of photonics technologies and the promotion of professional dialogue between business, research, teaching and the public sector.

In this context, numerous activities, such as:

  • day of light,
  • Missions,
  • Workgroup,
  • Workshops

and further project-based activities initiated by Photonics Austria.

Goals / Mission / Strategy

  • Promote professional dialogue on photonics between business, research and teaching and the public sector
  • Build cross-industry and interdisciplinary collaboration
  • Presenting the opportunities of photonics for Austria through appropriate public relations
  • Austrian interests at national and international level in the further development and application of photonics technologies
  • Articulate sector-specific interests for the further development and application of photonics technologies
  • The development of national research strategies and programmes support
  • Intensify networking with European activities and actors.

Areas of work / Topics

Photonics Austria basically covers all areas of photonics within its network. Usual activities include workshops, information events, networking events and conferences. In addition, specific, strategically relevant topics are dealt with by working groups within Photonics Austria.

One of these topics is laser production technology, which is being worked on within the WORKING group ALPIN (Austrian Laser Production Innovative Network). THE mission of ALPIN is to create a cooperation network between R&D institutions and industry in the field of laser production technology.

The aim is to create an improved framework for R&D institutions and to strengthen the Austrian economy. ALPIN offers users of laser production technology a central point of contact through which they can find the right cooperation partner. This will significantly simplify access to the competence and infrastructure available in Austria.

A second focus, which will be set up in 2019 within Photonics Austria with a focus on a working group, is the topic of education. With the increasing importance of photonics in business and industry, the need for excellently trained specialists is also growing.

The Education Working Group supports and initiates initiatives to meet these needs. The spectrum ranges from events for children and young people, who are to be enthusiastic about light and optical technologies, to the connection to university courses and adult education.

International Cooperation


  • Photonics 21
  • VDI - Association of German Engineers
  • BW Photonics
  • Swiss Photonics
  • Steinbeis-Verbund
  • Silicon Alps
  • Industry 4.0
  • Human Technologies Styria
  • AM Austria

EU projects

  • NextPho21
  • Scale-EU2p
  • Europho21
  • Respice
  • Photonics4all

Success Stories / Lead Projects

Hot, cold, dangerous and sensitive - solutions for challenging NDT tasks

Quality verification or characterization is necessary to ensure that materials do not have defects. However, there are cases where a test object must not be touched. Contactless, non-destructive testing (NDT) is the right choice for such demanding tasks.

Laser ultrasound (LUS), as a photonic NDT technology, is ideal for analyzing the internal structure of complex samples such as glowing metals, frozen solids, radioactive parts and water-sensitive or sticky surfaces.

When chemical parameters are of interest, spectroscopic technologies such as infrared (IR) and Raman spectroscopy are preferred. These are particularly suitable for applications with high contamination sensitivity or hazardous substances and for remote sensing.

RECENDT has shown such solutions as part of the PAC research project. The contactless nature of photonic measurement methods such as LUS or spectroscopic technologies opens up the possibility for automated inline measurement and process analysis systems and thus efficient and safe production.

Dice up to 300 million times per second with an ideal game cube

Quantum technology is seen as a central cornerstone of the future information age, guaranteeing data security and solving computer science problems more efficiently. Photonics now provides the decisive impulses for the leap from research laboratories to industrial applications.

For example, the methods required for digital encryption require perfectly random and thus unpredictable numbers. Thanks to quantum physics and the use of optoelectronic integration technology, it is now possible to press a quantum random generator onto a tiny chip, as demonstrated by teams from The AIT, TU Wien and Roithner Lasertechnik.

The Austrian core competence and internationally recognized expertise in the field of optical quantum technology is also reflected in the activities around the European quantum technology flagship. Currently, two of the five funded R&D projects in the field of quantum communication are coordinated by Austrian research institutions.

New laser projection technologies for augmented reality

Augmented reality is a topic of the future of the 21st century. The fields of application are manifold and range from consumer applications to the furnishing of the new living room to industrial use in production lines. One of the biggest barriers to the mass suitability of the current systems is still the size of the projection units.

TriLite Technologies, headquartered in Vienna, has developed the "Trixel", the smallest and most advanced laser-based microprojection unit in the world, as a solution to this challenge. Generally designed for use in augmented/virtual/mixed reality devices, head-up displays or 3D laser displays, TriLite's patented technology eliminates the biggest bottlenecks in the AR and VR display market in terms of portability, size and cost.

A laser light module is the heart of the "Trixels". Its hermetic housing contains red, green and blue laser chips, whose rays are combined via sophisticated software algorithms after hitting an integrated MEMS mirror.

Such projectors are about ten times smaller than currently available on the market and therefore can be found in normal frames. Photonics and trixel from TriLite Technologies further push the boundaries of previous applications in augmented reality - the future can come!