About our customers

Our customers are looking for industrially viable solutions to meet their needs of packaging photonic integrated circuits (PIC) or assembling photonic multi-chip systems from discrete dies of different materials. From a user perspective, the key advantage of this approach is that it combines the technological flexibility of conventional discrete systems with the compactness and economic advantages of large-scale photonic integration.

About us

Vanguard Photonics GmbH is a high-tech spin-off company, offering services and technologies in the area of large-scale photonic integration. The company was founded in 2016 by Prof. Dr. Christian Koos, Alois Hauk and Philipp-Immanuel Dietrich as a spin-off from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), one of Europe’s largest higher education and research organizations in the area of engineering and natural sciences. Vanguard Photonics builds upon an internationally unique and proprietary technology portfolio that was built up by Christian Koos and his research groups at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). This technology portfolio exploits additive nanofabrication techniques for packaging and assembly of photonic integrated circuits and photonic multi-chip modules, thereby serving a wide range of applications in information and communication technology, in life sciences, as well as in industrial metrology and sensing.

In 2018, the founders and employees of Vanguard Photonics together with teams from its research partner KIT won the Second Prize of the renowned Berthold Leibinger Innovationspreis.

Management Team and Founders

dsc_0024_c3Alois Hauk is co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Vanguard Photonics GmbH. Building upon more than 30 years of experience in leading positions in the IT, communications, and photonic test & measurement industry, Alois Hauk contributes profound skills in industrial leadership and business development. He led organizations with up to 1500 employees in Germany, Italy, US, Japan, China and Singapore. Hauk was Senior Manager at Hewlett-Packard and Managing Director at Tektronix and Agilent Technologies in Germany. For more than 20 years, he held profit & loss management and sales & marketing positions. In this time, he started several new product categories that developed into businesses with more than 100 million dollars annual revenue. Alois Hauk received his engineering degree in Computer Science in 1981 from the University of Applied Sciences in Esslingen, Germany, and completed the Business Management and Marketing Program at INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France, in 1988.

foto_koos-3Prof. Dr. Christian Koos is co-founder and chief technology officer (CTO) of Vanguard Photonics GmbH. He is a professor at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) since 2010, where he is affiliated with the Institute of Photonics and Quantum Electronics (IPQ) and the Institute of Microstructure Technology (IMT). His research focusses on integrated photonics and the associated applications in high-speed optical communications, optical signal processing, biophotonics, as well as optical sensing and metrology. Prof. Koos received the PhD (Dr.-Ing.) degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Karlsruhe in 2007. From 2008 to 2010, he was leading the technology radars “Nanotools and Nanometrology” and “Metrology” within the Corporate Research and Technology department of Carl Zeiss AG, Germany. In 2011, he was awarded a Starting Independent Researcher Grant by the European Research Council (ERC), the results of which have led to the foundation of Vanguard Photonics GmbH. In 2012, Christian Koos was awarded the Alfried-Krupp Prize for Young University Teachers, one of the most highly endowed prizes for young researchers at German universities, and in 2014, he received the Research Award of the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg, the most highly endowed research prize of a German federal state. Prof. Koos has published more than 250 papers in journals and conference proceedings and filed more than 20 patent applications.

Philipp-Immanuel Dietrich is co-founder of Vanguard Photonics GmbH and led the open access platform for 3D-printing “Pilot-3D”. Philipp-Immanuel Dietrich was awarded the IBM PhD Fellowship Awards in 2015, he is a member of Helmholtz International Research School for Teratronics (HIRST) since 2014 and held the HEIDENHAIN scholarship from 2011 to 2013. He received his Dipl.-Phys. degree from the University of Tübingen in 2014. Since 2014 he is working on his dissertation on “Hybrid 2D/3D Photonic Integration” in KIT’s department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology (ETIT).


Research Partners

logo_kit   Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

logo_kit-ipq   Institute of Photonics and Quantum Electronics (IPQ)
KIT’s Institute of Photonics and Quantum Electronics (IPQ) focuses on research acvtities in the area of photonic communications and microwave applications.

logo_kit-imt   Institute of Microstructure Technology (IMT)
KIT’s Institute of Microstructure Technology (IMT) is a leading research institute in the fields of micro- and nanotechnology, teratronics and photonics, as well as life sciences.


Baden-Württemberg: Connected e.V.

The main goal of the network organization is to foster key technologies in order to strengthen the region’s economic development.