November 02, 2017

Insights into the TU Spin-off company XARION: a laser acoustic sensor start-up

Distinguished Guest Speaker Event as part of the Professional MBA “Entrepreneurship & Innovation”

At the Distinguished Guest Speaker Event on October 27, Dr. Balthasar Fischer, CEO of the TU Spin-off company XARION, introduced the laser acoustic sensor start-up.

XARION Laser Acoustics, a Viennese Start-up company, makes use of a different approach to convert sound into an electrical signal: the optical microphone detects sound based on its ability to change the speed of light. Its ability to detect high ultrasonic frequencies also defines the areas of application, which include acoustic process monitoring, medical ultrasonics, and non-destructive material testing. Since its founding in 2012, XARION has raised several million euros of risk capital and funding. A member of the Porsche family became a shareholder in 2014, the machine tools company TRUMPF invested in 2016. In the same year, XARION has successfully launched its sensor product to the market. XARION employs 17 people.

The company's short history as well as the challenges when founding the company were presented from an inside perspective. Due to Dr. Fischer’s broad experience in R&D and Intellectual Property Management, he also shared interesting and valuable Patent know-how with the students.  Moreover, Dr. Fischer talked about several applications where the sensor product has been used, including measurements at CERN. To get an idea of the optical microphone, Dr. Fischer brought an example to class and the students had the chance to see at close quarters.  

Dr. Balthasar Fischer is the inventor of the Membrane-free Optical Microphone and has broad experience in R&D and IP Management. Before founding XARION, Balthasar was with Knowles Electronics Austria (formerly PHILIPS/NXP) as an R&D acoustics engineer. He received his PhD from the Vienna University of Technology, Photonics Institute, where he also worked as a post-doc scientist and project co-leader. He studied physics at the University of Fribourg and ETH Zürich after getting his musical training from Berklee College of Music, Boston. In the course of his career he has won several awards, including the Dr. Ernst Fehrer Prize and the Leibinger Innovation Award. Balthasar has authored several international patents.

See some pictures in our gallery.




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