SPIE Photonics Europe returns to Strasbourg with new AR/VR/MR design challenge

The cross-disciplinary, biennial event which runs 22-26 April, is making an exciting return to France, showcasing seven new conferences, 1,500 presentations, the Photonics Innovation Village, a two-day exhibition, six high-profile plenary speakers, a robust industry program, and a new design competition

29 March 2018

BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA and CARDIFF, UK - With a record number of presentations and twice the number of exhibition vendors as 2016, this year's SPIE Photonics Europe is making an exciting return to Strasbourg 22-26 April.

Eighteen conferences in all - including seven new ones - will cover the leading research disciplines driving the photonics revolution including digital optics, quantum technologies, optical imaging and science, laser-based manufacturing, and attosecond science. New conference topics this year include 3D printed optics and additive photonic manufacturing; advances in ultrafast condensed phase physics; fiber lasers and glass photonics; silicon photonics; organic electronics and photonics; and unconventional optical imaging. Plenary speakers include Alain Aspect, Jeremy Baumberg, Rainer Blatt, Frank Koppens, Anne L'Huillier, and Jens Limpert.

The event will also debut a stimulating student optical design challenge, focusing on augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality. Part of the new Digital Optics for Immersive Displays conference, the challenge will help students bridge the gap between traditional optical design and tangible industry expectations for contemporary immersive display products. Students will make a 3-5 minute pitch to technology leaders and gain exposure to some of the industry's top companies. Winning designs will be recognized in four categories that cover system design and address challenges faced by the AR/VR/MR industry today. Cash and other prizes worth more than €50,000 have been contributed by companies such as Jenoptik, LightTrans, Google, Microsoft, Facebook/Oculus, Huawei Technologies, and Zemax.

The SPIE Photonics Europe Exhibition, 24-25 April, offers a prime opportunity for researchers and engineers to connect with more than 100 leading global companies displaying the latest lasers, fiber optics, detectors, sensors, cameras, optical components and other instrumentation for the optics and photonics fields.

Companies will showcase the newest products and innovations and network with customers, developing new partnerships and recruiting talent during this time of unprecedented growth for the photonics industry. The exhibition is free to attend and will feature product demonstrations ranging from a 3D LED wall to IR image sensors.

In the exhibition hall, the Photonics Innovation Village highlights Europe's finest research programmes, encouraging and facilitating the translation of optics and photonics technology into new and useful products. Developed as a way to support and publicize university and non-profit research teams who are working on new applications and product development, the program offers a top prize of €1,500 and two runner-up prizes of €500 each.

Industry session attendees will hear from market leaders on the wealth of opportunities for photonics in Europe and globally. SPIE Director of Industry Relations, Stephen Anderson will release the latest assessment of the world's core photonics components marketplace. Based on a detailed review of supplier revenues and technology trends, this will provide a unique global perspective of the photonics business, its key players, and its markets. The presentation will help set the stage for the remainder of the two-day Industry Event that covers topics ranging from funding in Europe to recent developments in biophotonics.

Key to the success of Photonics Europe Exhibition is a new cooperation between Photonics France and SPIE. Thirty Photonics France members will participate in the exhibition's French Pavilion, and Photonics France's inaugural assembly - merging AFOP, the French association of Manufacturers in Optics and Photonics, and CNOP, the French National Committee of Optics and Photonics - will take place during Photonics Europe.

"Photonics Europe is SPIE's flagship event in Europe having run biennially since 2004," says SPIE Director of Science and Technology, Bob Hainsey. "This year we have a record number of papers and have more than doubled exhibitor participation over recent years indicating a high level of enthusiasm as we head to Strasbourg. We have received exceptional support from the local community, and the event promises to highlight the excellent work of the European photonics community. The programme features a rich range of important topics including metamaterials, nanophotonics, photonic glasses, lasers, attosecond spectroscopy, and the translation of quantum technologies towards commercial applications. Our symposium chairs, Francis Berghmans, Thierry Georges, Harald Giessen, and Paul Montgomery, have helped to ensure that this is a very strong technical programme that attendees will truly benefit from participating in this April."

About SPIE

SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, an educational not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based science, engineering, and technology. The Society serves nearly 264,000 constituents from approximately 166 countries, offering conferences and their published proceedings, continuing education, books, journals, and the SPIE Digital Library. In 2017, SPIE provided more than $4 million in support of education and outreach programs. www.spie.org.

Daneet Steffens
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