The European 8th framework program "Horizon 2020" encourages projects to aim high - not just doing research and innovation for the sake of it but seeking game-changing innovations that solve the challenges our society and our world is facing today in a sustainable way. This spring we dedicated considerable efforts to bringing a huge grant application that outlines the plan to develop and pilot the AXIOM Gamma and submitting it to the European Commission together with 4 partners in other EU countries that we teamed up with during this preparation phase. This effort alone was a huge success already as we not only learned a lot in the process of drafting these plans but also found allies that shared our goals or were ready to participate in our proposed solution no matter what the grant application outcome may be.
From eighty-five applications submitted to this particular Information and Communication Technology (ICT) call (seeking to strengthen the role of European small and medium enterprises in the creative industry) we reached 6th place with 13 out of 15 points and the top score of 5 out of 5 points in the "impact" category. The 15 highest ranked projects were invited to the grant preparation phase, and we (and our four partners described here and here) have just successfully completed preparations and signed the grant. The AXIOM Gamma development has now become an official innovation project backed by the European Union. The development is meant to start in March 2015 and the project runs for 15 months. Although we would have preferred to finish the AXIOM Beta first and gather more feedback, but this is actually good news for our crowd funding backers too. Some parts of the AXIOM Beta and Gamma will be worked on in parallel - we will still try to incorporate as much real world test feedback from our AXIOM Beta backers as possible in the course of the Gamma development.
EU Project Partners
af inventions is a hardware design company based in Germany and will take care of designing the electronics as well as the testing and quality assurance environment for the hardware. Antmicro is a company based in Poland focusing on Embedded (Linux) systems, FPGA (image processing, interfaces, etc.) and Software development. Denz is a company based in Germany and will be in charge of the mechanical and optical design and manufacturing of the AXIOM Gamma. University of Applied Arts, Vienna will accompany the project by documenting the creative design process as well as creating documentation for all aspects of the AXIOM Gamma.
What does this mean for the AXIOM Beta and the community?
The AXIOM Beta development will continue as planned - for the AXIOM Gamma we have teamed up with 4 other development partners so we will be able to work on more things in parallel. With a large amount of funding coming from the European Union the AXIOM Gamma will require less funds from end users to cover Non-recurring engineering (NRE) which in the end will allow us to offer the AXIOM Gamma for a fairer price. As we are developing parts of the Beta and Gamma in parallel it will allow us to define the upgrade path already earlier on. Keep in mind AXIOM Beta and AXIOM Gamma have completely different target audiences, the Beta is for developers and early adopters - a package that packs the most essential components into a robust, small and lightweight device - the AXIOM Gamma will become a full featured shoulder camera that "does it all" and will be ready for DoPs who just want to turn it on and start shooting. All in all this EU grant means that the future of the AXIOM project is secured for the next couple of years - it means we are not required to search for additional investments that would take a bit of our independence away from us.
Here are some apertus° crew reactions: