PHABLABS 4.0 for Photonics

PHABLABS 4.0 was created with the goal of achieving a lasting, positive impact on the way photonics is integrated into the rapidly expanding ecosystem of European Fab Labs and Makerslabs, resulting in a larger and better skilled photonics workforce with superior innovation capacity in photonics to support the next revolution in digitization.

By combining the synergies and know-how of top experts from 11 European photonics institutes with the Fab Lab stakeholders, PHABLABS 4.0 will devise and deliver a set of 33 Photonics Workshops, 11 Photonics Challenger projects and Photonics Toolkits aimed at stimulating creativity, hands-on design, fabrication, experiments, and the building of innovative systems with photonics. All these tools will be created and developed to enhance Fab Labs and Makerslab with photonics activities tailored for 3 different target audiences: young minds (10-14y), students (15y-18y) and young professionals and technicians.

ICFO has become an active member of this European initiative, with the role of leading the WP2 (Photonics challenger projects @ photonics-enhanced Fablabs) as well as coordinating and developing workshops, gender action teams, dissemination activities, and providing support throughout the whole project.

ICFO has selected “Photonics for Life” as the central topic for its workshops and Challenger project, since it will allow participants to understand how photonics is at the very core of imaging devices, diagnostic technologies and a broad range of healthcare applications. ICFO has a consolidated “Light for Health” focus programme, and several research groups working in different topics around “Photonics for Life” and biophotonics, concentrating photonics technologies and applications in fields such as early diagnosis sensor, quality control systems, imaging technologies, and medical devices among others. ICFO collaborates with local hospitals, health care centers, biomedical research centers, Universities and corporations.

The PHABLABS 4.0 project intends to harness the power of the growing innovation ecosystem of the Fab Labs and equip it with sufficient material to really engage, excite and educate youngsters, students, technicians and young professionals alike in the skills of working and innovating with light. The ultimate impact of PHABLABS 4.0 will be seen in the emergence of a much larger and better trained workforce with 21st Century skills capable of translating the potential of photonics as a key enabling technology into tangible products for the benefit of society.

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