Big Increase in Customer Attendance at The Holography Conference Online

Attracted by the range of holographic technology solutions on display and the convenience of the online format, participant analytics from the conference show that, this year, more government customers than ever attended The Holography Conference Online (THCO, 8-9 December).

The Holography Conference has traditionally been a forum for hologram suppliers, producers and users to meet and exchange information and experiences. It has also been a place to share and showcase the latest technologies, production techniques, applications and markets. This year was no exception, but what was different was that, sponsored by IQ Structures and partnering with The International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA), there was a noticeable increase in participation from government officials involved in specifying security features for banknotes, ID cards, driving licences and other documents of value.

The conference was divided into four schematic sessions to reflect the diversity of applications for holograms in document security, brand protection and packaging enhancement.

Paul Dunn, IHMA Chair, started proceedings in the Resilience and Sustainability session of the conference with his presentation on ‘The Role of the IHMA in Charting the Next Pathway for Holography’.

Click to play the video review of THCO 2020
Thank you for opportunity to attend the conference. It was very beneficial to hear from industry experts on the latest technology offerings. Congratulations to the Reconnaissance team for a job well done!

Jochen Kirsch (ISRA Surface Vision) followed Paul with his paper on ‘How In-line Inspection Throughout the Hologram Production Process Boosts Efficiency and Reduces Cost’. Jochen pointed out the challenges, and solutions, in machine inspection of holographic foil production as the optical properties and defects in the material changes from process step to process step.

David Tidmarsh posed the question ‘When Banknotes Sneeze, Do Holograms Catch a Cold?’ in which he explored the latest innovations in holographic features for banknotes as well as the overall prospects for banknotes in a world living with COVID.

The session concluded with a presentation on ‘Light Field Technology – Bringing Holograms to Life in a Virtual World’ from Linda Law (Linda Law Holographics).

The next session, entitled Physical, Digital and Virtual, explored the interplay between holograms and digital devices to improve authentication or verification of a person, product, document or the hologram itself.

Presentations from Pete Smallwood (Eltronis), Jan Thiele (Prismade Labs), Alex Lewis (Surys) and Brett Nelson (De La Rue Authentication) all emphasised that the use of smartphones and other technologies as digital authentication devices facilitate a broad industry desire to retain the familiarity and usability of holograms whilst staying ahead of the fraudsters.

The session was followed by a panel discussion, moderated by Francis Tuffy – editor of Holography News – in which Paul Dunn, Pete Smallwood and originator of Holography News, Ian Lancaster, discussed the state of innovation in the holography industry. After their opening remarks, questions from the floor seemed to orbit a consensus that, whilst the days of the early inventors that took the first holograms out of the laboratory (and art studio) and onto packaging and security documents may be past, the future of innovation in holography still looks bright.

From left – Francis Tuffy, Paul Dunn, Ian Lancaster, Pete Smallwood

Day 2 of the conference started with the session on Cooperation, Collaboration and Competition. Now more than ever, the holography industry relies on partnerships to deliver successful projects and on the integration of complementary technologies to create world-beating products.

This theme was developed in four papers from Michael Grau (Gietz) & Phil Holland (Komori), Phillipe Gentet (Ultimate Holography), Garry Mudd (Opsec) and Libor Šustr (OPTAGLIO), who demonstrated through their presentations the vital role that business partnering has to play, whether you are working in holographic foil stamping, contact copying machinery, plasmonic nanoparticles or transparent windows for polycarbonate documents.

THCO 2020 – Behind the scene

And so, to the fourth and final session of the conference which looked to Innovation and the Next Frontier for the industry. For participants attending the previous day’s Panel Discussion on the state of innovation in holography this session proved that it is alive and well.

Robert Dvořák’s (IQ Structures) presentation on ‘Edge-to-Edge DOVIDs in Polycarbonate Documents’ set out the concept and execution of a set of national identity documents. Guri Dhillon (XRD nano) explored the advantages of UV recombination and embossing over their thermal counterparts. Ian Smith (KURZ) set out the merits of banknote threads with nano and microstructures from KURZ and, to close the conference, we heard from Clint Landrock (Nanotech Security Corporation) who dragged himself out of bed at a ridiculously early hour (he was calling in from Canada) to convince us of ‘The Importance of 3D Stereo Depth in Authentication’. 

We will be covering in more depth some of the individual presentations in future issues of Holography News).

Following the formal sessions of the conference, the mood switched to celebration as the winners of the IHMA Awards for Excellence in Holography were announced, amid a shower of virtual confetti. Details of the winners in the five categories, as well as the newly-introduced ‘People’s Choice’, can be found on the cover page.

Whilst no one can claim that the online event was truly able to replicate the chance meetings of colleagues and customers, what was evident from participants’ comments was that the online version allowed suppliers and customers a welcome window into what is going on the holography industry. Which begs the question, could this be the enduring format for The Holography Conferences of the future?


All4Labels Smart + Secure GmbH former Hologram Company RAKO GmbH


Andrews & Wykeham

United Kingdom

CBPM – Zhongchao Special Security Technology Co Ltd


Centrak Bank of the Republic of Turkey


Central Bank of Turkey Printing Works


Centre for Development of Imaging Technology (C-DIT), Government of Kerala


CJSC Holography Industry




Computer Holography Centre

Russian Federation

De La Rue


Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL)

United Kingdom

DEMAX Holograms


Department of Homeland Security



United Kingdom

European Central Bank


Federal Police Belgium


FMA Secure


German Federal Criminal Police Office




Hologramas de Mexico


Holography Industry CJSC



United Kingdom

Immigration & Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security


IQ Structures

Czech Republic

IRSA Surface Vision


Komori Corporation


Krypten Research & Production

Russian Federation



KwangWoon University – Holography Laboratory

Republic of Korea

La Monnaie de Paris


Linda Law Holographics

United Kingdom

Ministry of Defence

United Kingdom

Ministry of Justice


Mitsubishi Polyester Film GmbH


Monnaie de Paris


Nanotech Security Corp.


Nottingham Trent University

United Kingdom

OpSec Security Group

United Kingdom

Papierfabrik Louisenthal GmbH


Polish Security Printing Works (PWPW)


Prismade Labs


PT Pura Barutama


Reconnaissance International

United Kingdom

Reproduction Research Centre- National Bank of Denmark


Shriram Veritech Solutions Pvt Limited


Sicpa SA






U.S. Dep of Homeland Security, HSI Forensic Lab




U.S. Federal Government


Ultimate Holography

Republic of Korea



Water Mark Publishing House

Russian Federation

XRD Nano

United Kingdom


Schedule is GMT time
Hover on the presentation title or speaker to see if more information is available.

Presentation included in the download file

For attendees only – password was provided by our event team.

Tuesday 8 December 2020

11:00 – Opening Film & Conference Welcome

Session 1 – Resilience and Sustainability


The IHMA – Charting the Next Pathway for Holography

Paul Dunn, IHMA Chairman

International Hologram Manufactuer Association


How in-line inspection throughout the Hologram Production Process Boosts Efficiency and Reduces Cost

Jochen Kirsch

ISRA Surface Vision (Ger)


When Banknotes Sneeze, Do Holograms Catch a Cold?

David Tidmarsh

Reconnaissance (UK)


Light Field Technology – Bringing Holograms to Life in a Virtual World

Linda Law

Linda Law Holographics (USA)

Each presentation includes 5 minutes for Q&A

12:25 Break
12:30 Awards Intro and Submissions

Session 2 – Physical, Digital, Virtual


Physical and Digital – Combining the Best of Both Worlds for Robust Authentication

Pete Smallwood

Eltronis (UK)


Smart Holograms – Electronic Holograms for Smartphone-Based Verification

Jan Thiele

Prismade Labs (Germany)


When Digital Enhances the Physical Experience

Alex Lewis

SURYS (France)


Digital Authentication Using Photopolymer Holograms

Brett Nelson

De La Rue Authentication (USA)

Each presentation includes 5 minutes for Q&A

14:10 Panel Discussion
  • Francis Tuffy
  • Paul Dunn
  • Ian Lancaster
  • Pete Smallwood
14:45 Wrap-Up Day 1
15:00 IHMA AGM*

* Held on a separate platform, members will be informed

Wednesday 9 December 2020

11:00 – Opening Film & Conference Welcome

Session 3 – Cooperation, Collaboration, Competition


The Value of Holographic Security Foil

Michael Grau

Gietz (Switzerland)

Phil Holland

Komori (UK/Japan)


CHIMERA™ Masters and New Industrial Contact Copy Machine

Philippe Gentet

Ultimate Holography (France)


Laser-Induced Generation of Plasmonic Nanoparticles for Optical Security Features

Garry W. Mudd

OpSec Security (UK)

Demosthenes C. Koutsogeorgis

Nottingham Trent University (UK)


Exclusive Anti-Counterfeit Features for Transparent Windows of Polycarbonate Documents

Libor Šustr


Each presentation includes 5 minutes for Q&A

12:25 Break
12:30 Awards Intro and Submissions

Session 4 – Innovation and the Next Frontier


Edge-to-edge DOVIDs in Polycarbonate Documents

Robert Dvořák

IQ Structures (Czech Republic)


Advantages of UV Recombination and UV Embossing

Guri Dhillon

XRD nano (UK)


Banknote Threads from KURZ with Nano/Microstructure and Interference Based Technologies

Ian Smith

KURZ (Germany)


The Importance of 3D Stereo Depth in Authentication

Clint Landrock

Nanotech Security Corporation (Canada)

Each presentation includes 5 minutes for Q&A

14:10 Awards Ceremony
14:30 Conference Closing

IHMA Awards for Excellence in Holography Continue to Shine Online

The winners of the International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA) Awards for Excellence in Holography were announced, amid a shower of virtual confetti, at the closing of The Holography Conference Online – and for the second year in a row SURYS scooped the coveted prize for ‘Innovation in Holographic Technology’.

In May of this year, it looked unlikely that the awards, which have been a regular calendar feature for over 20 years, would be staged in 2020 due to restrictions caused by the pandemic. But later in the year, with the decision to move The Holography Conference online, the IHMA saw an opportunity to stage the awards as an online showcase.

The awards are the industry’s way of recognising unparalleled sector achievement during these difficult and challenging times. More than 25 submissions were sent in video form for the IHMA Board to review and vote on in five different categories.

In choosing SURYS’ TriSTAR™ banknote security thread for the highly sought after ‘Innovation in Holographic Technology’ award, the Board was particularly impressed by the fusion of traditional hologram concepts and magnetics, micro text and UV fluorescence to create a striking security feature . This, with its unique three-way colour changing effects, can be quickly and easily checked by the public to confirm the banknote’s authenticity. 

The strong field of submissions was reflected in the strength of winners in the other award categories.

The prizes for the ‘Best Origination’ and ‘Best Display or Emerging Technology Application of Holography’ went to Ultimate Holography’s DMC DeLorean CHIMERA, a 40 by 30 cm, 250 microns, 120-degrees full-parallax full colour CHIMERA from a computer-generated 3D model. The artist requested a hyper-realistic image combining 3D, high resolution, and natural reflective and diffusive effects. In making the display, the new CHIMERA printer uses low power continuous RGB lasers with separate wavelengths at 640, 532, and 457 nm, to reconstruct a perfect colour balanced image.

The ‘Best Applied Security Product’ award went to Louisenthal for the Micromirror and Hologram LEAD Project which is a house note that depicts a beam of light from a lighthouse which is visualised as a very luminous, bright and dynamic Starburst Effect on the foil – travelling in both directions from the lighthouse.

Hazen Paper Company walked away (virtually speaking) with the ‘Best Applied Decorative/Packaging Product’ award for its 2020 house calendar. Several holographic techniques were integrated into the calendar, included Hazen-Lens behind the dates/months, grey motion for the sky background, colour motion for the dragon’s body and 2-channel fire-lens and colour-motion lens for the fire.

As the awards ceremony was part of The Holography Conference Online, the format allowed all of the awards’ video submissions to be viewed and voted on by conference participants. This led to the creation, for  the first time, of the so-called ‘People’s Choice’, the winner of which was Krypten’s Antarctica  200 3D concept banknote with a security stripe combining a volume (3D) hologram with high precision micro-demetallisation. 

Dr Paul Dunn, chair of the IHMA, commended the standard of entries as extremely high, contributing to an industry that continues to evolve, innovate and secure new markets and applications.

He added: ‘These awards celebrate the very best in holographic achievement and the many remarkable innovations the industry introduces each year. Creativity, flair and design excellence have again shone brightly in the 2020 entries, reflecting how our industry continues to push the boundaries both technically and commercially.’


Thank you to our 2020 Sponsors and Partners