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New SPIE event in Europe focuses on impact of green photonics on energy and environment

19 April 2010

CARDIFF, Wales, UK, and BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA -- 19 April 2010 -- Photonics for clean energy generation, ecologically friendly manufacturing processes, energy-efficient lighting, pollution control, and environmental monitoring will be advanced through a new technical congress organized by SPIE in Strasbourg in March 2011. The Eurodistrict Photonics Consortium comprising Region Alsace, Land Baden-Württemberg, City of Offenburg, City of Strasbourg, CNOP, and Rhenaphotonics are collaborating in the congress.

Photonics, recognized as one of five "Key Enabling Technologies" by the European Commission, plays a leading role in the development of the green economy with a proven track record in providing energy and energy reduction technologies. Examples are in solar energy systems, LED lighting, and optical communications. Lasers, photonic processes, and sensors facilitate cleaner manufacturing through monitoring and control systems to reduce waste and environmentally harmful emissions using economically viable solutions.

The announcement of the new event was made at the SPIE Photonics Europe congress in Brussels last week.

"Photonics engineering is increasingly important for environmental science, for example, using remote sensors to detect and monitor pollution and air quality, and using laser technology to enable the manufacture of lighter-weight automobiles for better fuel efficiency," said Prof. Patrick Meyrueis, Univ. of Strasbourg. Meyrueis and Prof. Dan Curticapean, Offenburg Univ. of Applied Sciences, are Co-Chairs of the congress.

"Green photonics is expected to have significant impact in reducing global warming, but at the same time it offers as yet unexploited opportunities for economic growth in Europe," notes the recently released Photonics21 strategic research agenda report in photonics, Lighting the Way Ahead.

The Strasbourg congress will include a technical programme and exhibition covering green photonics, a job fair, and activities for students. Awards will be made in industry to the winner of a competition among start-up companies for the greatest impact on economy, ecology, and in education for a selected "best paper" of the conference.

The comprehensive congress will focus not only on applications of photonics in green technology but will also address the need to re-educate the workforce for a green future. It will also serve to more broadly bring attention to the new paradigm of incorporating environmentally friendly products and processes into everyday life and to the role photonics plays in this.

The congress extends SPIE's commitment to advancing green technologies through its technical forums and publications, noted Dr. Andrew Brown, SPIE Senior Director, Global Business Development.

"SPIE is dedicated to advancing research in these vitally important fields'" Brown said. "Photonics technologies offer the most promising sustainable solutions for industrialized nations dealing with the challenges of protecting environmental quality and providing jobs for growing populations, and for countries that are rebuilding their economies and infrastructures."

The new event supports SPIE's launch of the new Journal of Photonics for Energy in autumn 2010. The new peer-reviewed online publication will provide a focal point for photonics and optics research in and development of sustainable energy sources, energy-efficient technologies, and environmental sensing and other applications for the environment.

The event complements and extends the impact of a number of existing SPIE events:

A Green Photonics conference track will be a highlight at SPIE Photonics West next January in San Francisco, California.

For over a decade, the SPIE Optics + Photonics meeting in San Diego, California, has provided the leading forum for dissemination of the latest information on renewable energy and efficient lighting.

Both the SPIE Remote Sensing congress and Optics + Photonics hold technical sessions each year covering topics in remote sensing with applications in agriculture, transportation safety and pollution control -- all key areas in the emerging green economy.

SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, was founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. Serving more than 188,000 constituents from 138 countries, the Society advances emerging technologies through interdisciplinary information exchange, continuing education, publications, patent precedent, and career and professional growth. SPIE annually organizes and sponsors approximately 25 major technical forums, exhibitions, and education programs in North America, Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific, and supports scholarships, grants, and other education programs around the world. In Europe, SPIE supports the optics and photonics community by acting as an advocate and liaison to political and industry associations.


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