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.

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?

Happy International Day of Light!

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.


The PHABLABS 4.0 test workshops started in Vilnius. FTMC and M-Lab organised a workshop for young minds where they could make their own Kaleidoscope.

Writing a text with LEDs at Fablab Karlsruhe

Young professionals tested the Workshop “Persistence of vision” at Fablab Karlsruhe. In this workshop LEDs are used to write a text or images on a phosphorescent surface. What we need to make the text visible is a rotating drum, coated with a phosphorescent film and illuminated from the inside with light using LEDs.

PHABLABS 4.0 overview

This movie gives an overview of the PHABLABS 4.0 project. In this project there are 3 phazes. During the development phaze the partners will work out in total 33 Photonics Workshops (for three target groups), 11 Photonics Challengers and Photonics Toolkits. In the Test phaze, all Workshops and Challengers will be tested in the pilot Fab Labs with the specific target groups. In the Roll-Out phaze, other Fab Labs will be able to test the developed material. Are you interested in testing the material? Please inform us: