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SPIE snaps up Photonex events

20 Jun 2019

Optics and photonics society looking to bring 'worldwide visibility' to the UK show with deal to buy organizer Xmark Media.

SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics (and publisher of optics.org), has agreed to acquire Xmark Media, the organizer of UK-hosted events including Photonex Europe, Photonex Scotland, Photonex London, and the Vacuum Expo.

According to SPIE, the deal will extend the society’s existing activities in Europe, adding to several established technical events including Photonics Europe and SPIE Optics + Optoelectronics, which are supported by the SPIE Europe office in Cardiff, UK.

“With an international constituency of individuals and companies from over 170 countries, SPIE will bring worldwide visibility to Photonex Europe, the UK’s premier photonics exhibition,” says the society.

Brand extension
Photonex Europe, which was established back in 1992, is an annual two-day exhibition showcasing the latest technologies and developments in the photonics sector, with topic areas including biophotonics, fiber optics, imaging, lasers, microscopy, optoelectronics, and quantum photonics.

The brand has since evolved to include events in London and Glasgow themed around specific technical topics, such as biophotonics, hyperspectral imaging, and quantum technology.

Photonex Europe 2019 will take place October 9-10 in Coventry, UK. Co-located with Photonex Europe are the Enlighten Conference and Vacuum Expo: the latter will bring together the industrial and scientific vacuum community for its 10th annual exhibition, alongside a conference and related training.

SPIE’s CEO Kent Rochford commented: “As the international society for optics and photonics, SPIE is excited to have this opportunity to enhance the UK’s top event in our field. We see great potential when experts, suppliers, buyers, scientists, and engineers from across the globe meet to discuss new challenges and solutions, and we’re thrilled that Xmark Media reached out to us to help strengthen support for the photonics community in the UK by including Photonex in the SPIE portfolio.”

International reach
Xmark chief and erstwhile Photonex organizer Laurence Devereux added: “The people we attract to Photonex are leaders and innovators at the forefront of optics and photonics technology, so our community has a natural home within the SPIE family.

“I’ve always had great respect for SPIE and am delighted that this transition enables us to continue with our determined objective to support the growth of the photonics industry in the UK and Europe. Joining forces with SPIE, with its international reach, will boost the visibility of our events, presenters, and exhibitors.”

John Lincoln, CEO of the UK Photonics Leadership Group, voiced his support for the development, saying in an SPIE release that it would further support the global photonics industry, including both UK-based manufacturers and international companies supplying photonics technology to UK users.

“The UK photonics community has worked with SPIE conferences and events over many decades, and will be very supportive in expanding this key UK event, further leveraging SPIE’s renowned capability in helping people share ideas that move optics and photonics technology into high-impact applications,” he said.

Quantum opportunities
This year’s Photonex Europe will host new features in the form of a focus on quantum technologies - the University of Bristol’s Quantum Technology Enterprise Centre (QTEC) is among the exhibitors - and an “enterprise zone” including a pitch for funding event run by Innovate UK.

Another exhibitor already signed up is the major optical component manufacturer Edmund Optics. Company president and COO Samuel Sadoulet said he was “delighted” with SPIE’s move to acquire the event, adding:

“Our office in York and our international teams support the many first-class research and manufacturing organizations throughout the British Isles, which is why we are an exhibitor at Photonex in October. I am confident that SPIE will do a great job organizing the largest optics and photonics exhibition in the UK.”

Other photonics brands exhibiting in Coventry this year include Hamamatsu, Thorlabs, and Alrad Imaging, while representatives from the likes of Dyson, Renishaw, Ricoh, and Qinetiq are among those expected to attend the event.

To join them as either an exhibitor or attendee, visit the Photonex Europe web site.

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