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Research and innovation

Horizon prize for breaking the optical transmission barriers

What the prize was about, details of winners and finalists

The winner is announced

Six applications were competing to win the prize. A high-level expert group with five independent, leading experts in the optical field evaluated the applications. The prize was awarded by Commissioner G.H. Oettinger on November 9th, 2016 during the 2nd Global 5G Eventin Rome, Italy.



The goal of this prize was the development of a breakthrough solution in the area of point-to-point optical fibre transmission, to overcome the current limitations of long distance fibre transmission systems. The €500,000 award for optical transmission went to the PHOTONMAP project led by Department of Photonics Engineering, Technical University of Denmark.

Their solution is based around ultra-high capacity fibres, which can transmit information over thousands of kilometres, with significant energy and cost savings compared to state of the art commercial systems. The Department of Photonics Engineering, Technical University of Denmark (DK) as coordinator, teamed up with University of Southampton(UK ) and Fujikura Ltd (JP) to submit the winning entry of the breaking the optical transmission barriers Horizon Prize, PHOTONMAP.

The PHOTONMAP solution suggests to break the optical transmission barriers by building optical communication systems based on high-count, single-mode, multi-core fibre (HC-SM-MCF) for long-haul transmission, which can achieve orders of magnitude more capacity than the state-of-the-art commercial transmission system. This is an innovative solution in terms of transmission capacity, transmission reach, energy saving, which also offers low complexity, low cost and better integration.