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SPIE joins in praise for ‘huge step forward’ for innovation R&D enabled by Photonics21 actions

16 May 2013

Michael Mertin, Neelie Kroes, Photonics21 roadmap

Photonics21 President Michael Mertin presents EC Vice-President Neelie Kroes with the new multiannual strategic roapmap for photonics R&D.


laser-printed violin

In a demonstration of the
sophistication of photonics in
advanced manufacturing,
Pauline Klaus of the Royal
Conservatory of Brussels plays
a laser-printed violin at the
Photonics21 meeting.

CARDIFF, UK -- The new Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in Photonics established by Photonics21 at the association’s recent annual meeting drew praise from community leaders from SPIE and others including EC Vice-President Neelie Kroes, who called the action “a huge step forward; a lasting partnership between sectors, and a stimulant to European innovation.”

The Board of Stakeholders voted to approve in principle the structure of the new Photonics PPP at its 29 April meeting in Brussels, which was sponsored by SPIE Europe and other organizations.

Photonics21 president and Jenoptik CEO Michael Mertin and the Photonics21 executive board also presented Kroes with the association’s new strategic roadmap, “Towards 2020 -- Photonics Driving Economic Growth in Europe.”

“The presentation of the new Photonics21 roadmap to Vice-President Kroes is the latest of many strategic actions that this coalition of industry, academia, and policy-makers from through the EU have taken to help strengthen the economy and improve living conditions and opportunities through the advancement of photonics technologies,” said SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs. “The hard work and visionary insights that have gone into this report and its predecessor documents have created a positive force for growth through successful, game-changing photonics projects throughout the continent.”

Arthurs, who is also a member of the Photonics21 Board of Stakeholders, said the Photonics PPP, will allow the successful Photonics21 alliance to continue to work with the EU for the upcoming Horizon 2020 program.

Mertin said that the new roadmap will provide guidance for funding decisions by outlining the most relevant areas for photonics research and innovation, and that it will “foster job and wealth creation in Europe through a long-term investment commitment by the photonics industry and the EC.”

Kroes emphasized her commitment to keeping photonics -- recognized by the EC as one of six Key Enabling Technologies (KET) -- as an area of strength for European industry, saying that “this proposal is ambitious and strategic; not a plan to subsidize an industry, but to strengthen Europe's innovation potential.”

EC Director for Components and Systems Khalil Rouhana told Photonics21 that the final Horizon 2020 budget should represent a 30% increase over current Framework Programme Seven (FP7) spending. That would ensure at least €7 billion in funding for information and communications, of which €1.4 billion would likely be allocated to the KETs of photonics, microelectronics, and nanoelectronics.

A decision on the final budget for Horizon 2020 is expected by the end of 2013.

Read more about the meeting and the Photonics PPP in the optics.org article.

Download the roadmap document (PDF 3 MB).

Read more about Horizon 2020 in Thomas Skordas' article in SPIE Professional.Skordas is head of the EC Photonics Unit, Directorate General Information Society and Media

Photonics21 2013 Student Innovation Award

At the meeting, Rafael Betancur of the Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona and Asaf Shahmoon of the School in Advanced Optical Technologies in Erlangen were presented with the Photonics21 2013 Student Innovation Award for outstanding industry-related student research in photonics. The award is sponsored by SPIE Europe, the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute, Hamamatsu, and the European Commission. Above, from left are Photonics21 Executive Board member Roberta Ramponi (Istituto di Fotonica e Nanotecnologie), Betancur, Mertin, and Shahmoon.

Michael Mertin, Young Ambassador for Photonics Education Jana Huisman, Neelie Kroes

Vice-President Kroes appointed 17-year-old physics and mathematics student Jana Husiman as Photonics21's Young Ambassador for Photonics Education. The award is supported jointly by the European Commission and Photonics21 and is targeted at promoting training in photonics technologies and contributing to a highly qualified workforce in Europe.

SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. The Society serves nearly 235,000 constituents from approximately 155 countries, offering conferences, continuing education, books, journals, and a digital library in support of interdisciplinary information exchange, professional networking, and patent precedent. SPIE provided over $3.2 million in support of education and outreach programs in 2012.


Media contact:
Amy Nelson
Public Relations Manager, SPIE
+1 360 685 5478