RedKnight is pleased to announce another successful grant funding application. Free Space Optical Links for 5G networks (FrOLik) will receive €674,160 from Eureka Eurostars to develop its innovative Free Space Optical (FSO) links technology. Impressively, FrOLik ranked 16th out of all 500 eligible applications to the September 2020 call! This is a testament to the strength of the team and the project’s innovation potential.

The project comprises the following R&D-performing SMEs: Integrated Compound Semiconductor Ltd (ICS – Manchester, UK), VTEC Lasers and Sensors BV (Eindhoven, Netherlands) and Aircision BV (Eindhoven, Netherlands). The Compound Semiconductor Centre (South Wales) will also provide support.


FrOLik aims to deliver a novel FSO communication product for 5G infrastructure deployment. Currently, point-to-point fibre optic links are the standard deployment option as they provide high integrity and high bandwidth transmission. FSO is a more flexible and lower-cost alternative, but it suffers from outages in adverse weather conditions.

The project involves an innovative structured laser beam technology that enables long-range, 100 Gb/s data transmission with high link reliability. This was developed by The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and subsequently commercialised by Aircision. By leveraging the laser beam technology with unique high-performance detector technology (developed by ICS) and new high-speed component integration techniques (developed by VTEC), FrOLik hopes to deliver a radically new FSO system optimised for 5G interfacing.

It will address the trade-off between bandwidth and range backhaul with two clear advantages:

1) Firstly, the system is easily deployable and cost-effective in comparison to fibre optic links.
2) Compared to microwave links, the system is easier to upgrade, requires no spectrum licenses, and consumes less electricity.


Professor Wyn Meredith, Managing Director of the Compound Semiconductor Centre, said of the success,

“This project brings together highly specialist photonic component and communications system expertise at different levels in a technically challenging supply chain. RedKnight took away the burden of developing the framework and broader narrative of the proposal, to allow the consortium to focus on articulating the advantages of a collaborative approach, and the uniqueness of the proposal solution. The fact that the proposal ranked in the top 5% of all bids submitted in the call speaks for itself….”

If you are a tech-based startup or SME and would like help securing grant funding, then please contact RedKnight today.