Company history

Pronova Firmengebäude

The Beginnings

It all started at the Institute of Light and Structural Engineering (ILB) at the University of Applied Sciences in Cologne. There, Prof. Jörg Gutjahr (photo engineering) and Prof Helmut Müller (architecture) were occupied with various possibilities of making better use of daylight within buildings. All different kinds of light guiding techniques were examined and researched. Special attention was paid to holographic optical elements (HOE). They were already being used in small dimensions for light redirection in optics. The new thought that arose at the ILB was to make these elements work in huge dimensions for the facades of buildings.

The architects, who were thoroughly fascinated by the transparent impressive light guiding systems, wanted more. They wanted a way of projecting moving pictures onto a glass panel. The result was a technique that still impresses people today: HoloPro™ is a transparent projection screen, which enables video projections onto transparent surfaces in broad daylight. This means that projection in a bright environment and even outdoors is possible for the first time. Shop windows can be decorated so that from the outside the projection of a commercial is visible, but there is still a clear view from the inside to the outside.

The Patent

HoloPro™ was filed as a patent by the ILB in 1998. Since public funding was limited, a partner had to be found to continue the use of the patent. This partner was found in the entrepreneur Kurt-Werner Gahrens (Gahrens + Battermann Group), who founded G+B pronova GmbH in July 1999.

pronova obtained the patent for the invention with the goal of building up the production and sale of HoloPro™. The knowledge of the ILB was assigned to pronova in the form of a cooperation agreement, and was secured by taking over the staff.

The Market

In its effort to publicise and sell HoloPro™ pronova has opened doors to a completely new market - the market of transparent projection. The market now enjoys ever-increasing popularity.
In the five years since the foundation of the company, worldwide representation via local dealers in more than 40 countries has been established.

The Partners

In cooperation with Agfa-Gevaert Group the holographic film - which is exclusively produced by Agfa-Gevaert Group for pronova under the name of SkyPro - has improved due to new materials, in particular and especially the increase in width to 1.70 m.

Another important partner is Glaswerke Arnold in Merkendorf, who constantly improve the embedding process in glass and thus contribute to an extremely durable and high-class quality end product.

A cobranding agreement with Bayer MaterialScience advances the application of HoloPro™ in Makrolon®.

pronova is actively supported in the new development of systems and the planning of fixed installations by its sister company, exact planwerk, an engineering firm that promotes the development of new products in the field of systems and accessories.

The Range of Products

Besides the holographic projection screen HoloPro™, in its various versions, and the artistic HoloSign, pronova is also developing - in cooperation with the University of Applied Sciences - light-guiding elements and 3D holograms.

Further pronova products have also been developed in the field of projection: ProFess, the glass rear-projection screen, and ProLite, a light version made of acrylic, which opens the door to new and better ways of classical rear-projection.

We are looking forward to your request in the field of projection technology in order to work out innovative solutions together.