At September 1st, Center for Physical Sciences and Technology (Vilnius, Lithuania) together with other 20 partners in Europe and Israel are launching a new 48-month long integrated FP7 project APPOLO “Hub of Application Laboratories for Equipment Assessment in Laser Based Manufacturing”. Others EPIC members: Next Scan Technologies, Onefive and Time Bandwidth Products are in the consortium.
The APPOLO project seeks
to establish and coordinate connections between the end-users, which have demand on laser technologies for (micro)fabrication, knowledge accumulated in the application laboratories of the research institutes and universities and the laser equipment manufacturers (preferable SMEs) for novel lasers, beam control and guiding, etc. and their integration in order to facilitate faster validation of the process feasibility and adaptation of the equipment for manufacturing conditions, as well as assessment of the dedicated production processes in terms of the process speed, quality and economic issues as well. Core of the consortium consist of laser application laboratories around Europe which are connected into a virtual hub
to accumulate knowledge and infrastructure and promote the easy-to-access environment for development and validation of laser-based technologies. All partners selected a few directions for assessment of novel laser technologies: in ultra-short pulse laser scribing for monolithic interconnections in thin film CIGS solar cells: from laser to pilot line; use of the lasers in smart surface texturing for automotive and printing/decoration industries and for 3D flexible electronics.
Implementation of the APPOLO project will help partners from European photonics industry to preserve their competitiveness and penetrate new niches in the global market. The equipment builders for automotive, photovoltaics, electronics and printing industries will benefit from faster integration of innovative technologies which will provide the new-quality consumer products, including low-cost and high-efficiency solar cells, comfortable interior and functionality of cars, smart sensors for environmental monitoring.