3.65M EUR to develop the microphones of the future

The PIONEAR team

The Sweden-based company Lumiary, together with international partners, has been awarded 3.65 million EUR in funding for the development of next-generation microphone technology through the prestigious EIC Pathfinder (European Innovation Council’s program for the development of breakthrough technologies).

Starting in February, Lumiary will coordinate and lead the four-year PIONEAR project, which involves seven European partners in research and development. The aim is to develop a prototype of a miniaturized version of the new microphone, which uses a laser to convert sound waves into light changes and enable sound reproduction with unprecedented quality and resolution.

”In this project, we will use components that allow the microphone to be mass-produced in millions of copies. We are creating a format that allows it to be used in consumer electronics,” says Per Grön, founder and CEO of Lumiary.

Lumiary, which is part of BizMaker’s incubator program, was founded in 2022 based on an idea that Per Grön started developing already in 2019. Together with partner Andreas Lundström, he is now fully committed to Lumiary.

Last fall, Lumiary was granted support from Vinnova to develop its very first prototype. It will be ready in the summer, and the hope is to be able to offer a first early product for specialized applications such as recording studio sound and in defense.

To change the technology on a large scale, however, more development is required. This is where the PIONEAR project comes in.

”The applications that will create the greatest impact require the microphone to be small and cheap, such as in a hearing aid or mobile phone. Our goal is to develop two prototypes during the project period, where the lessons learned from the first version will be used to improve the second and bring us closer to a commercial product,” says Per Grön.

The project runs until 2028, by which time the plan is to have a microphone for consumer electronics ready to showcase and start manufacturing. This will require additional time and investment - but the team behind Lumiary is ready.

”This is a marathon, not a sprint, and in the meantime I’m enjoying working with the best in Europe in their respective fields. I’m looking forward to working on this for a long time,” concludes Per Grön.

The project has been granted a total of 3.65 million euros, just over SEK 40 million, in funding from the European Innovation Council (EIC) and the Swiss government.

There are many potential applications for Lumiary’s technology. In consumer electronics such as mobile phones, video conferencing and voice control devices, where a more sensitive microphone can improve quality and user experience. And in advanced systems such as self-driving vehicles, drones and the like where microphones can be used for echolocation and navigation.

About the PIONEAR project

Budget: EUR 3.65 million

Timeframe: February 1, 2024 - January 31, 2028


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