AXIOM Gamma: We got mail, from Brussels!

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.

We suggest you continue reading with the appropriate soundtrack:

We got mail, from Brussels!


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


DENZ - Präzisionsentwicklung

University of Applied Arts, Vienna

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.

AXIOM Gamma Open Module Concept Version 3
This is a high risk, high gain proposal, that could have substantial non-pecuniary economic benefit and impact. Moreover, an open source camera would definitely be an innovative and disruptive solution. The impact on the market could be considerable.
- Horizon 2020 Expert Review Statement

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:


3 years ago
patrice freymond

Exciting news!
A great note on which to end 2014.
Well done!

3 years ago

Your tax-paying commercial competitors (i.e. the people that actually earned the money you're about to received) will surely thank you a lot.

3 years ago

You know that a lot of huge companies get national fundings all over the world, do you? Not to talk about unbalanced customs and illegal tax reductions companies like Apple and Facebook got? I am glad at least one small venture like apertus is getting the big funds. Well done guys!

3 years ago

Don't forget that all the results will be open sourced, meaning it will benefit everyone. This cannot be said for most research done by companies.

3 years ago
Tobias Deml

Ooooh this is so fantastic. Really excited that you actually made it - and it so fits to the spirit of the Apertus community to be officially backed by the EU ;)

3 years ago

@hu: I wouldn't necessarily say those tax-paying companies that indirectly pay for the grant are all competitors. A lot of businesses can profit from a pre-made, open solution available to the market.

Congratulations, team! Keep up the spirit and let's hope all of this turns out for the best.

3 years ago
Mai Fernandez

Exciting news! Congratulations! Have a great Christmas ahead. Well-deserved. It's great to see Denz listed up there too.

3 years ago

A Huge Congratulation on your achievement !

Applying and winning EU grants is a hard task, and you did it with brio!

Wondering if you should not join the 2 projects in order to focus all your forces onto 1 successful project "Axiom BetaGamma" ?

As a developer, I would see huge advantages to it, and as a nice technology cameras lover and open-source fan too.

Wishing you Merry Christmas and great, well-deserved, holidays. Looking forward to the Axiom Beta, Gamma, or BetaGamma :-)

3 years ago

Pay attention to the fact that Europe claim to give more money that they actually gave. You really have to pay attention to everything you do using such funding. We have already been threatened by non payback several times and it is only because we have a strong administration that we finally manage to get payback. So be sure to respect all the rules to use your money or you will loose everything.

3 years ago

We already underwent extensive Horizon 2020 bookkeeping and accounting training and will be extra careful with declaring our eligible cost but thanks for the real world experience report.

3 years ago

Well done, everybody brilliant news.

I'd concur with Beat that it must surely make some sense to re evaluate the roadmap in the light of the new funding.

Wouldn't a fully functional camera (gamma) that can be stripped down to function as a super GoPro (beta) make more sense than developing 2 reasonably different products with limited resources?

Obviously you think and talk about this all the time! And are more aware than I of the logistical ramifications.

3 years ago
Joe Hansen

+1 on that idea. I would love to see something that allowed both a lightweight (ie. flyable) solution that could be reconfigured into a shoulder or mounted solution. Modular units with a full-size and a cut-down frame ed...

3 years ago

Does this mean you guys will be able to afford better sensors (Sony) for example and use your hardware to push the sensors abilities to the fullest? Just like magic lantern has done with canons sensors being able to shoot RAW?

3 years ago

As the image sensor is the most critical component in the camera we are already using the best and highest end one we could find on the free market: That the sensor has publicly available documentation is key for an open source camera so if Sony will sell similar sensors with a datasheet that does not need an NDA we are happy to consider buying them.

3 years ago

Thanks for replying. So whats your opinions on the CMV20000 full frame sensor? Seems to have higher resolution and larger pixels for low light abilities.

3 years ago

We will look into it, it is indeed a very interesting sensor but we have to start somewhere and that is with the CMV12000.

3 years ago

We wonder how far we can push the colors when working directly with real raw information (from sensor and not from "raw" files) and reproduce the real Alexa look and then create our own Fuji film type look. Forget LUTs - for conveinence you want a real nice look out od the camera. A great look since already looks great is easy to grade - it's harder to make something good looking worse. Hope my pals (very good gfx programmers) can solve this and they're eager to.

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