Fonjallaz has over 25 years experience with working in the field of optics and photonics.
1985-1995: The studies
He realized studies in Physics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology iin Lausanne (EPFL) from 1985 to 1990 followed with a PhD in the same institution finalized in 1995. The thesis was on the photosensitivity of single-mode fibres and the characertisation of fibre Bragg gratings. He then moved to Stockholm with his Swedish girl-friend and future wife and mother of his two children and worked at KTH as a Post-doc during one year with Profs. Bozena Jarskorzynska and Lars Thylén on the realization and characterization of UV-induced wavegudies in silica glass.
1996-2003: Working in the research institute RISE Acreo
Fonjallaz was then employed at the Institute of Optical Research which is presently named RISE Acreo. P-Y Fonjallaz worked first as a research engineer, became project manager for a European project and other projects from 1998. He became head of the Fibre Technology group, with about 10 employees, from March 2000 to December 2003. As such, he was also technical responsible for the whole fibre optics activity at Acreo (including the fibre laboratory in Hudiksvall) including about 16 people.
2003-2010: Director of the Kista Photonics Research Centre (KPRC)
P-Y Fonjallaz was appointed director of the Kista Photonics Research Centre (KPRC) in December 2003. His main task was to coordinate the collaboration between KTH and Acreo in the field of optics in Kista. Beside this role, he continued his research in microwave photonics and fibre Bragg grating applications and has locally administrated two large EU projects. Thanks to this activity, he has acquired an excellent overview of the Swedish photonics and a good knowledge about the European photonics. He was seconding KTH Prof. Lars Thylén when he was Chair of Photonics21’s work group 6 from 2005 to 2007. He also had the opportunity to organise a major conference, the European Conference on Optical Communication, ECOC, in 2004 in Stockholm.
2010 to present: Entrepreneurial Time
In 2010 he has started his own consulting company. The original idea was to help municipalities around Stockholm to build up flexible offices for distance working. In January 2011, he also started the economic association PhotonicSweden with a few colleagues throughout Sweden. In 2011 he finally took the decision to focus all his activities on the management of PhotonicSweden complemented with tasks performed for Acreo. From that moment, up to now, he has contributed to a clear increase of the number of industrial members of PhotonicSweden. He has also led the development of a research and innovation agenda for the Swedish photonics which was finalised at the end of 2013. Present activities are mostly related to EU projects (Coordination and Support Actions, CSAs) to strengthen The European Photonics. PhotonicSweden has been participating in six CSA projects since its foundation. Because of this, P-Y Fonjallaz is presently taking care of a new task in the framework of EuroPho21 to improve the collaboration between the different CSAs of the Photonics PPP.
In 2012, he started to collaborate with different organisations related to the field of electronics, e.g. the Swedish Electronics. In 2013, the collaboration resulted in an application for a new strategic innovation programme which was successfully selected in May 2014. The programme is called “Smartare Elektroniksystem” in Swedish, which is translated in English by “Electronics Components and Systems” (ECS). P-Y Fonjallaz became part of the programme office during fall 2014, which launched the programme officially in 2015. He was not kept in the office from that moment as his activities with PhotonicSweden were considered as too heavily oriented towards photonics. Nevertheless, he was appointed project leader of a project related to ECS which aims at influencing the calls of Horizon 2020 for the benefit of Swedish actors. It rapidly appeared in the framework of that project that a collaboration at a higher level would be highly beneficial. P-Y Fonjallaz has once again shown his ability to coordinate many different actors and he is instrumental for the creation of a new organisation called “Digital Sweden” which basically regroups all actors in the ICT sector. The main missions of the new organisation will be to increase the collaborations internally, advocate the field in Sweden and abroad and help to set up strong projects including different ICT actors.
P-Y Fonjallaz is the director of PhotonicSweden since March 2017. He has been instrumental in many different ways for the development of PhotonicSweden. He has been working very much with strategies and collaborations with other areas. He has e.g. also nurtured the collaboration between Swedish KETs and especially with the organisation Swednanotech. He is presently putting a lot of efforts in involving regional authorities in the field of photonics, in the framework of EU project and beyond. PhotonicSweden is still functioning without direct public financing, so one motivation is also to show that our organisation could have a very fruitful collaboration with in particular the main regions of Sweden.