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SPIE Professional October 2008

Industry and Innovation

SPIE Photonics West 4-29 January, shines a light on innovation, business regulations, industry connections, and the very latest in optical applications.

By Beth Kelley

In a quickly evolving industrial market, it is important for photonics entrepreneurs and researchers alike to know the different industry standards and laws. A new workshop debuting at SPIE Photonics West in January will address international export compliance regulations for U.S.-generated technologies.

The International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), developed and administered by the U.S. Department of State, have existed for many years, but awareness of the regulations among optics suppliers inside and outside the defense sector has lagged, despite the severe penalties that can result from violations.

Of particular concern are components, designs, software code, and test data, which can fall under the regulations if they are used in a defense-related product. Potentially, even seemingly innocuous components such as mirrors or lenses could fall under the rules, as could companies whose primary business is non-defense-related.

Kerry Scarlott, an attorney with the Boston law firm of Posternak Blankstein & Lund, will teach the course at SPIE Photonics West. Scarlott regularly counsels technology entrepreneurs and other business owners about international trade and has considerable expertise with ITAR. A workshop on ITAR will also be presented at the SPIE Defense, Security + Sensing symposium in April 2009, where it is of primary concern.

(For more information about how export rules are viewed by American businesses, see The Economist article.)

SPIE Photonics West offers more than 75 technical courses and professional development workshops on both emerging and foundational topics for people at all stages of their careers. Other workshops geared toward industry will be on project management for rapid product development, establishing new technology ventures, patents, intellectual property, and ladership skills for engineering project leaders.

Industry Events

SPIE Photonics West, 24-29 January 2009, is internationally recognized as the largest and most prestigious event of its kind. Part of that prestige comes from its history of premiering the best and the brightest innovations and newest technologies.

Engineers and systems integrators developing devices and components will find the building blocks for innovation at the exhibition and in the conference rooms. SPIE Photonics West is also the place to see new applications serving the fields of biomedicine, nanotechnology, lasers, optical communications, life sciences, and more.

The inaugural Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation are to be presented Wednesday, 28 January at the event, which comprises four symposia and two exhibitions. Sponsored by SPIE and Laurin Publishing, the Photonics Innovation awards will honor the best innovative products or processes that were brought to market between September 2007 and September 2008. Judging will be based on the problem addressed and the practicality of the innovation solution.

The Prism awards are just one example of SPIE's dedication to ingenuity and bringing new products to light.

A summit for leaders of photonics clusters and other photonics-driven businesses is also scheduled to take place during the week-long event. SPIE Photonics West provides an ideal environment for making connections with other companies and across national boundaries. The photonics cluster events held in January 2008 were deemed a huge success and extremely useful by those who attended.

The SPIE Photonics West Exhibition will be held 27-29 January. The exhibition floor has a diverse assortment of products and companies to explore. Technologies featured include IR sources and detectors; camera, displays, and electronic imaging components; fiber optic systems; optics and optical components; and sensors.

BiOS is the largest symposium for biomedical optics in North America, bringing together researchers, clinicians, and technical experts from all over the world. The patent citations that come out of BiOS conferences have grown exponentially over the past few years. BiOS is divided into five program tracks: Photonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics; Clinical Technologies and Systems; Tissue Optics, Laser-Tissue Interaction, and Tissue Engineering; Biomedical Spectroscopy, Microscopy, and Imaging; and Nano/Biophotonics. Returning symposium chairs are James Fujimoto of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA) and R. Rox Anderson, Wellman Center for Photomedicine (MA).

BiOS even has its own exhibition, held 24-25 January with more than 130 companies. This specialized exhibition provides the opportunity for attendees to explore new technologies in molecular imaging, nano/biophotonics, therapeutic lasers, spectroscopic/microscopic imaging, biosensors, and other products for the medical field.

The LASE symposium on lasers and applications addresses advances in basic laser device research. Conferences explore laser materials, device and system engineering for various applications, free-space communications, and laser use on the industrial manufacturing floor. Don Harter, IMRA Corp. (MI), and Peter Herman, University of Toronto (Canada), are symposium chairs, with Henry Helvajian of The Aerospace Corp. (CA) and Friedrich G. Bachmann, ROFIN-SINAR Laser GmbH (Germany), serving as co-chairs.

Chad Mirkin, Northwestern University (IL), is a plenary speaker at MEMS-MOEMS, which tackles the fast-growing market of micro- and nanofabricated electromechanical and optical components and their steadily multiplying applications to products and systems. His talk is titled "Massively Parallel Soft Pen Nanolithography." Mirkin is known for his development of nanoparticle-based biodetection schemes, the invention of Dip-Pen Nanolithography, and contributions to supramolecular chemistry. Albert K. Henning, NanoInk, Inc. (CA), is the MOEMS-MEMS symposium chair, and is aided by symposium co-chair Thomas J. Suleski, University of North Carolina, Charlotte.

Paras Prasad, professor at the University at Buffalo (NY), has been invited to present a plenary at the OPTO symposium. The lineup of programs for integrated optoelectronic devices includes a new applied conference, Optical Communication: Systems and Sub-systems, chaired by Benjamin B. Dingel of Nasfine Photonics, Inc. (NY). The other OPTO programs are Photonic Integration, Nanotechnologies in Photonics, Displays and Holography, Semiconductor Lasers and LEDs, Optoelectronic Materials and Devices, and Advanced Quantum and Optoelectronic Applications. James G. Grote, Air Force Research Laboratory (OH), is the OPTO symposium chair, and he is joined by E. Fred Schubert, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (NY), as symposium co-chair.

More information: spie.org/pw.

Member Discounts

SPIE members receive a discount on all conference and course registration fees. Members also get discounts on books and subscriptions to the SPIE Digital Library, where all conference proceedings and SPIE journal articles are stored dating back to 1990.

SPIE Photonics West Says Farewell to San Jose

This is the last year SPIE Photonics West will be held at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, CA.

Beginning in 2010, SPIE Photonics West moves 50 miles north to the Moscone Center in San Francisco to accommodate the size of this growing event and because of plans to remodel the convention center in San Jose.

The Moscone Center complex has more than 700,000 square feet of exhibit space, 106 meeting rooms, and approximately 123,000 square feet of lobby space. Committed to sustainability, Moscone also has 60,000 square feet of solar panels installed on its roof.

Beth Kelley is an editor for SPIE Press. 

Have a question or comment about this article? Write to us at SPIEprofessional@spie.org.

DOI: 10.1117/2.4200810.15

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