Combining the World of Photonics and Fab Labs

The concept of PHABLABS 4.0 is based on combining the World of Photonics with the growing creative ecosystem of existing Fab Labs. Joining forces of top experts from 13 European photonics institutes and STEM-oriented organizations with Fab Lab stakeholders, PHABLABS 4.0 will deliver 33 Photonics Workshops, 11 Photonics Challengers and Photonics Toolkits tailored for three different target groups.

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Tailored Activities for

Young Minds

To enlarge and ensure the workforce of tomorrow the PHABLABS 4.0 project will focus on the young minds to stimulate their interest in a technical profession.


The PHABLABS 4.0 project will focus on the students to encourage experimentation with photonics and grasp the strong enabling character of this key enabling technology in combination with other KETs.

Young Professionals

The project aims to introduce young professionals to specific aspects of photonics and trigger innovation in their products, with the focus on technological possibilities and entrepreneurial opportunities.

Increasing Creativity, Stimulating Innovation

Photonics Workshops

33 appealing “Photonics Workshops” will introduce a variety of fundamental photonics principles that are important to harness photonics properly to understand a wide variety of applications and create new ones.

Photonics Challenger Projects

We aim to define and test 11 different inspiring and thought-provoking “Photonics Challenger Projects”, covering different aspects of photonics and with a link to cross-KET technologies.

Photonics Toolkits

The PHABLABS 4.0 project aims to compose photonics toolkits for the Fab Labs to facilitate the use of photonics components as a standard element throughout these innovation hubs.

Pan-European Network

Photonics Partners

The strength of this project is the teaming up of local photonics organizations with local Fab Labs. In PHABLABS 4.0 this teaming up will happen within 11 regions across 10 countries.

Pilot Fab Labs

The PHABLABS 4.0 project will use the existing facilities of the Fab Labs ecosystem. During this project we are going to focus on 14 pilot Fab Labs in the 10 participating countries.

Gender Action Team

Special attention will be given to create gender-sensitive material for the “Photonics Workshops” and “Photonics Challenger Projects” that they gain the interest of girls in science.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon2020 Research and Innovation Programme under the Grant Agreement N°. 731610.
Project Duration: 01/12/2016 - 31/05/2019

What's new?

Photonics21 "#next_photonics. Prototype your idea contest"

November 23 2018

Are you looking for even more Photonics Challenges? Apply for the "#next_photonics. Prototype Your Idea Contest" And transform your idea for a photonics product into a real business.

Happy International Day of Light!

May 16 2018

From this year on May 16th, the anniversary of the first successful operation of the laser in 1960 by physicist and engineer, Theodore Maiman, is the 'International Day of Light'. PHABLABS 4.0 had the opportunity to show all our fantastic Photonics Workshops at the inauguration of the Day of Light at UNESCO in Paris.

PHABLABS 4.0 present at bootcamp Photonics

April 23 2018

The bootcamp is all about photonics, a driving technology for many industries in the 21st century. Bridging physics with engineering. Advanced and sometimes futuristic, yet unknown to many. Have a look at this intensive day where VUB B-PHOT experts unleash the super power of photonics to students in Engineering and Physics. PHABLABS 4.0 was present to learn the students how to make a smartphone controlled RGB LED lamp

PHABLABS 4.0 Challenger Projects
This movie gives an overview of the PHABLABS 4.0  challenger projects. Are you interested in one of the photonics challenger projects ? Please inform us: