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Optoelectronics & Communications

Thierry Van der Pyl Hot Topics Presentation: Innovating in Photonics in Horizon 2020

Presented at SPIE Photonics Europe 2012
2 May 2012, SPIE Newsroom. DOI: 10.1117/2.3201205.05

Thierry Van der PylThierry Van der Pyl focuses on the upcoming Horizon 2020, the EU's new Framework Programme for Research and Innovation for 2014 to 2020, with a particular emphasis on the role of photonics research and innovation in his presentation, "Innovating in Photonics in Horizon 2020."

Van der Pyl identifies several major areas of opportunity and sketches some of the challenges to be solved:

  • optical broadband, with the challenges of meeting capacity while serving more people throughout the world, and developing greener practices
  • solid-state lighting, with OLEDs that offer such capabilities as very large surfaces delivering light on flexible substrates at the front of the next technology wave
  • lasers -- an area in which Europe is clearly the leader and in which development results in jobs -- moving into mass customization for lightweight structures, as well as new, more efficient sources
  • sensors, for safety and security of people, goods, and the physical environment
  • photonic integrated circuits and nanophotonics, for greater efficiency.

The intention behind Horizon 2020 is to combine research and innovation, stressing that innovation will apply to both technology and business as new financing models, access to capital, open-innovation practices will be needed. The initiative's agenda is will drive research in three directions, with agendas for policy needs, industrial objectives, and scientific advance. Resources for the initiatve are quite substantial, Van der Pyl states: €80 billion over the next 7 years, representing 8 percent of the total EU budget.

Thierry Van der Pyl is the director of the Directorate on Components and Systems in Directorate-General Information Society & Media (Belgium), which includes responsibility for photonics in the European research Framework Programme.