European Commissioner Reding sees huge untapped potential for photonics in EU economic development for the 21st Century

April 5, 2006, Strasbourg, France--SPIE Europe--a European subsidiary of The International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE)--announced today that, at the Photonics Europe Symposium and Exhibition underway this week in Strasbourg, France, European Commissioner Viviane Reding accepted the first draft of the Strategic Research Agenda in Photonics from Alexander von Witzleben, President of Photonics21 and CEO and Chairman of Jenoptik AG.

Reding, who is responsible for technology funding recommendations to the European Commission, said, "Europe must link research to the delivery of innovation, economic growth and jobs in Europe." She continued, "It is very clear we must gear up research to remain competitive." Reding further pointed out that while Europe already directly and indirectly employs over 2 million people in the photonics industry, the potential for photonics-enabled advancements in the areas of health care, lighting, security, and other applications offers unlimited potential for job creation and economic development in Europe. However, she warned that the photonics community must be realistic in its expectation; EU resources must be used strategically to realize those opportunities with the greatest potential to deliver a return on investment.

Reding told a plenary audience of Photonics Europe attendees that public funding for research will continue to be more closely linked to applications with commercial potential. She noted, "We must concentrate our efforts on those areas which show great promise, that are of strategic importance, and where we can expect a greater return on investment. Photonics is one of those areas." She further went on to discuss existing markets that are being driven by photonics technologies, like those involving display and CD/DVD technology; however the European Commission expects that the strategic importance of photonics technology will create new markets of which we are currently unaware.

Reding finalized her comments with a challenge to industry to strengthen their investments in R&D to match the higher investments in other regions of the world. She further extended her best wishes to the Photonics Europe audience, noting, "This conference has become a highlight, a 'rendezvous incontournable' for all researchers in the photonics field. I am impressed by the number of papers, more than 1,000, among which almost 200 are a direct result of our funding in the Framework Programme VI, and I believe that this contributed to putting Europe at the speed of light!"

Photonics21 is an industry-focused initiative promoting the need for a far more aggressive and rapid commercialization of optics- and photonics-based technologies over the next five years in Europe. Europe's ability to remain competitive in the high-tech arena is seen to be at stake, as well as the competitiveness of major European companies who employ a large segment of Europe's leading researchers, scientists and engineers working in this field. Alexander von Witzleben, managing director of Jenoptik AG and president of the Photonics21 Strategic Research Agenda, is a prime example of a corporate leader with such concerns.

Over 2,200 people will come to Photonics Europe to participate in conferences covering the latest research in optoelectronics, biophotonics and new therapies using light, solar energy, nanotechnology, lasers, multimedia, optical sensors, silicon photonics and other fields.


A long way from the ruby laser

Most Popular Articles


Ray Optics Simulations with COMSOL Multiphysics

The Ray Optics Module can be used to simulate electromagnetic wave propagation when the wavelength is much smaller than the smallest geometric entity in the ...

Multichannel Spectroscopy: Technology and Applications

This webcast, sponsored by Hamamatsu, highlights some of the photonic technology used in spectroscopy, and the resulting applications.

Handheld Spectrometers

Spectroscopy is a powerful and versatile tool that traditionally often required a large and bulky instrument. The combination of compact optics and modern pa...

Fracking, climate change, and lasers:  new tools to reduce fugitive methane emissions

This webcast, sponsored by Hamamatsu Corporation, covers recent developments and field deployments of compact quantum-cascade-laser (QCL)-based methane senso...
White Papers

Narrow-line fiber-coupled modules for DPAL pumping

A new series of fiber coupled diode laser modules optimized for DPAL pumping is presented, featur...

Accurate LED Source Modeling Using TracePro

Modern optical modeling programs allow product design engineers to create, analyze, and optimize ...

Optical Isolators Improve Engraving Performance of Pulsed Fiber Lasers

The deleterious effects of back reflections on pulsed fiber lasers used in marking and engraving ...
Technical Digests

ADHESIVES, SEALANTS, AND COATINGS: Solutions for optical technologies

A vast array of optical systems of various types and degrees of complexity require the use of adh...

WAVELENGTH-SWEPT LASERS: Dispersion-tuned fiber laser sweeps over a 140 nm range for OCT

By eliminating the use of mechanical tunable filters and instead tuning by intensity-modulation i...

Keeping pace with developments in photonic materials research

For demanding or custom spectroscopy solutions, care must be taken in selecting and integrating a...

HIGH-POWER FIBER LASERS: Working in the kilowatt regime

High-power materials-processing fiber lasers are available in an increasing variety of forms, as ...

Click here to have your products listed in the Laser Focus World Buyers Guide.
Social Activity
Copyright © 2007-2014. PennWell Corporation, Tulsa, OK. All Rights Reserved.PRIVACY POLICY | TERMS AND CONDITIONS