SPIE Photonics West

Event on 13-18 February 2016 supports life cycle of industry.

01 October 2015

Since its debut in 1995, SPIE Photonics West has been connecting with the optics and photonics industry through the entire life cycle of business, from small startups seeking funding to large corporations looking for the newest innovation.

logo for SPIE Photonics WestNext year’s Photonics West, 13-18 February 2016 in San Francisco, continues that tradition with industry events ranging from a forum on getting hired to an executive panel giving perspectives on the optics and photonics industry.

Among the 70 special events for Photonics West 2016 are 20 for industry professionals, including competitions for the annual Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation and the SPIE Startup Challenge. Topics for workshops, seminars and panel discussions in the industry program will include the future of 3D printing, managing intellectual property and patents, evaluating portfolios, and developing a startup business plan.

Well-established technical conferences will cover biomedical optics, optoelectronics, and laser research under the umbrellas of BiOS, OPTO, and LASE, and three virtual symposia will showcase innovative advances in green photonics, translational research, and 3D printing.


BiOS, the world’s largest international biomedical optics symposium, covers new imaging modalities, neurophotonics, biophotonics, diagnostics and therapeutics, optical coherence tomography, optogenetics, tissue optics, and other applications of biomedical optics.

BiOS will open with the popular Hot Topics session, facilitated by SPIE Member Sergio Fantini, featuring experts in biophotonics discussing the latest advances in their various technologies.

New in the BiOS lineup for 2016 are sessions on wave frequencies; biophysics, biology, and biophotonics; and high-speed biomedical imaging and spectroscopy.

Symposium chairs for BiOS are SPIE Fellows James Fujimoto of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA) and R. Rox Anderson, director of the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (USA).


LASE 2016 brings together a broad range of laser-related technologies including laser manufacturing, laser materials processing, micro-nano packaging, solid-state lasers, laser resonators, ultrafast, semiconductor lasers and LEDs, and 3D-fabrication technologies.

A new conference will cover the latest developments in rogue waves, nonlinear dynamics, and real-time instrumentation and measurements.

Plenary speakers for LASE are:

  • SPIE Fellow Satoshi Kawata of Osaka University (Japan)
  • Philip Russell of Max-Planck Institute for the Science of Light (Germany)
  • Scott Keeney of nLight Corp. (USA)

Symposium chairs for LASE are SPIE Fellow Yongfeng Lu of University of Nebraska Lincoln (USA) and Guido Hennig of Daetwyler Graphics (Switzerland). SPIE Fellows Reinhart Poprawe of Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik (Germany) and Koji Sugioka of RIKEN (Japan) are LASE co-chairs.


OPTO conferences address developments and advances in a broad range of optoelectronic devices and technologies as well as their integration for commercial and industrial applications.

Research presentations will cover silicon photonics, photonic crystals, semiconductor lasers, quantum dots, and nanophotonics. Other topics include MOEMS-MEMS in photonics, optoelectronic materials, photonic integration, displays, holography, advanced quantum and optoelectronic applications, LEDs, and optical communication devices and systems.

Chairing the OPTO symposium are SPIE Fellow Shibin Jiang of AdValue Photonics (USA) and Jean Emmanuel Broquin of IMEP-LAHC (France). SPIE Fellows David L. Andrews of University of East Anglia (UK) and Alexei L. Glebov of OptiGrate Corp. (USA) are symposium cochairs.


The three virtual symposia, 3D Printing, Translational Research, and Green Photonics, will highlight papers from BiOS, LASE, and OPTO that cover their respective themes.

3D Printing imageThe 3D Printing track returns to Photonics West in its second year to present further advances in this multidimensional and multidisciplinary technology. 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, rapid prototyping, laser deposition, and selective laser melting, is quickly finding applications such as customized, rapid prototyping for the medical, life sciences, automotive, food, and aerospace industries.

Widespread adoption of 3D printing could possibly upend currently accepted production economics by allowing products and components to be produced economically in smaller numbers, with more flexibility and newer materials.

The 3D Printing symposium will include topics such as software to increase speed and efficiency; in situ sensors and probes; and conformal photonics an electronics.

Symposium chair for 3D Printing 2016 is SPIE Fellow Henry Helvajian, senior scientist in the Micro/Nano Technology Department at the Aerospace Corp. (USA).


Introduced in 2014, SPIE Translational Research is chaired by SPIE Fellow Bruce J. Tromberg, director of the Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Clinic at University of California, Irvine (USA), and Gabriela Apiou of Harvard Medical School, Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital (USA).

Translational Research is designed to facilitate the translation of biophotonics research into clinical practice and features photonics tools, techniques, and technologies to meet challenges in global healthcare, especially those involving cancer, heart disease, and neurological disease.

Presentations will demonstrate outcomes-based optical and light-based solutions for the healthcare industry.


The Green Photonics symposium has been highlighting the latest photonics and optoelectronic tools and materials to reduce power consumption, enable cleaner manufacturing, and increase new energy generation since 2011. Advances in green photonics are providing more energy efficiency, safer lighting, and improved living conditions around the world.

Topical areas for this interdisciplinary symposium include solid-state lighting and displays, laser-assisted manufacturing, micro/nano-fabrication, fusion, photovoltaics, and communications.

Papers featuring technologies in all areas of SPIE Photonics West that impact energy sources, energy efficiencies, sustainability, conservation, and other “green” focused components will be eligible for the Green Photonics Best Paper Awards.

SPIE Fellow Stephen J. Eglash of Stanford University (USA) is founder and chair of Green Photonics.

Plenary and keynote speakers for many of the conferences had not been confirmed by press time for this issue. However, SPIE Fellow Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop of University of Queensland (Australia) has confirmed as a plenary speaker in the nano/biophotonics program track.


Beyond the technical events, for many Photonics West attendees, the big draw is the exhibition halls.

The BiOS Expo, 13-14 February, is the world’s largest biomedical optics and biophotonics exhibition. This two-day event features biomedical optics and photonics technologies such as spectroscopic/microscopic imaging, therapeutic lasers, biosensors, molecular imaging, and nano/biophotonic instrumentation.

The BiOS Expo will be held in Moscone West in 2016, along with BiOS conferences.

The Photonics West Exhibition, 16-18 February, is the largest in North America with more than 1250 companies showing components, systems, lasers, and applications for optics, lasers, and photonics manufacturing.

Both exhibitions are free.


wordmark for Prism AwardsNominations for the 2016 Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation will be accepted through 9 October.

The international competition for the photonics industry recognizes innovative technologies and products that break conventional ideas, solve problems, and improve life through photonics.

Awards will be made 17 February during SPIE Photonics West 2016.

Judges will evaluate innovative products, processes, devices, systems, instruments, and technologies that are newly available on the open market in the following categories:

  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Alternative Lighting
  • Biomedical Instrumentation
  • Detectors and Sensors
  • Displays
  • Imaging and Cameras
  • Industrial Lasers
  • Materials and Coatings
  • Optics and Optical Components
  • Optical Communications
  • Other Metrology Instrumentation
  • Scientific Lasers

GRAPHIC FOR SPIE STARTUP CHALLENGEThe SPIE Startup Challenge for photonics technologies will also be held at Photonics West. It is a lively, interactive pitch competition similar to Dragon’s Den in which new entrepreneurs in photonics have just three minutes to pitch their ideas to a team of expert judges.

The winner will receive $10,000 from founding partner JENOPTIK and $5,000 worth of equipment. Supporting sponsors confirmed at press time were TRUMPF, Edmund Optics, and Open Photonics.

For more information on SPIE Photonics West: spie.org/PW.

Recent News
Sign in to read the full article
Create a free SPIE account to get access to
premium articles and original research
Forgot your username?