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The European Photonics CAReer LAunch Path

The CARLA project focused on the development and implementation of replicable photonics career camps that encouraged STEM students and young researchers to pursue a career in photonics. One focus of the project was the cooperation with companies in order to show students possible career paths in the field of photonics on the one hand and to improve their employability as new employees in the photonics industry on the other. 

The Austrian career camp took place in Graz in September 2022 and students from all over Austria, but also internationally – with a focus on Italy, Slovenia and Hungary – were offered an exciting program. The camp was held over two full days and had a modular structure, focused on scientific standards as well as opportunities for networking and matchmaking between students and companies. Last but not least, practical tasks were used to support the students ability to innovate and work in a team. Lectures, discussion rounds, workshops, training and networking sessions were combined methodically.

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Photonics Austria presents

CARLA Camp Graz

From September 21. to 23. 2022, Photonics Austria hosted the CARLA Camp Graz at the Karl-Franzens-University Graz, Austria. The camp gave young researchers and students the opportunity to discover the fascinating world of photonics and meet experts from academia and industry, from start-ups to technology leaders. It offered an insight into the many facets of the photonics landscape with applications such as sensors, lasers, LEDs, quantum technologies, photovoltaics, spectrometry and many others, which offer an incredible variety of possibilities. Many students used Carla Camp Graz to set the course for a career in photonics – whether as a user, developer or expert.

Benefits for Participants


  • for first-hand experience

Lab Tours

  • for a look behind the curtain

Career Fair & Networking

  • to find topics for final theses or to get to know potential future employers at the fair stand or in a personal meeting


  • Green Tech Challenge powerd by EIT Health iDays and Industry Meets Makers

Poster Sessions

  • PhD students can present their work in form of a poster

Expert Talks and Panels

  • Listen, ask questions and discuss with experts from industry, start-ups and academia

Benefits for Companies


  • Input for training courses & additional qualifications for the Europe-wide CARLA camps
  • Drawing the attention of 1,375 STEM students and post-docs to the company
  • Cooperation with the Photonics Austria “Education” working group (including 7 universities and 4 non-university research institutions)
  • Drawing attention to photonics in general and demonstrating its relevance to the company
  • Provide a free stand at the CARLA camps in 10 countries
  • See students in action to assess their potential as future employees
  • Making contact and publishing job offers on the CARLA LinkedIn network


  • Participation in 1-2 workshops to analyze training gaps or training additions
  • Provision of information on photonic job profiles in the company
  • 1-2 day representation at CARLA-Camp Austria (speaker or stand)
  • Sponsoring for a Carrier Camps (optional)

Project CARLA international

CARLA is a Horizon 2020 project that was realized internationally in cooperation with eleven committed project partners. Each of these institutions was responsible for implementing its own CARLA camp, which was specifically adapted to the requirements and needs of the respective catchment area. The CARLA network of the CARLA Hub spans a total of ten different countries, which contributed their individual experiences and strengths to the success of the project and also reached a broad range of experts, students and young researchers.



Career Camps


Members in the LinkedIn Network


Attending Students


Contacted Students

Project Partners

  • ICFO (ES)
  • Photonics Austria (AT)
  • Max Born Institute (DE)
  • Politecnico Di Milano (IT)
  • Institute D‘ Optique (FR)
  • International Laser Centre (SL)
  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel (BE)
  • Delft University Of Technology (NL)
  • Photonics Sweden (SE)
  • Southern European Cluster In Photonics and Optics (ES)
  • SwissPhotonics (CH)


January 2020


36 Months