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Standards and VC trends on the agenda at Photonics Europe

19 Mar 2014

SPIE’s biennial conference and show in Brussels features an expanded industrial program for 2014.

Photonics Europe, the SPIE-organized conference and trade exhibition taking place in Belgium next month, will feature a newly expanded industry program with a strong focus on the impact – both positive and negative - of standards on the photonics sector.

Scheduled for Wednesday April 16, the “industry perspectives” event in Brussels will feature presentations on the threat to key optical materials posed by well-meaning European regulations like RoHS and REACH.

Peter Hartmann from the glass and optics giant Schott will explain how proposed restrictions on the use of heavy metals creates uncertainty for manufacturers in the region, while Wenko Süptitz from the German industry association Spectaris will follow with a presentation entitled, “Measures against damages for optical industry caused by EU-RoHS and EU-REACH”.

In their joint abstract for those two talks, Hartmann and Süptitz write: “Prohibition of the materials themselves or their raw materials will lead to the loss of many special materials impairing the performance of optical systems strongly, if not preventing it totally.”

Because of the extreme leverage effect of optical systems across a variety of important commercial sectors, they add, the consequences could damage the EU’s own goals on innovation and economic impact set out in the Horizon 2020 program.

Following that opening, Elisabeth Leitner from the German Institute for Standardization (DIN) will cover developments in international standards for optics and photonics, while Detlev Ristau from Germany’s influential Laser Zentrum Hannover will focus on new standards and projects.

VC activity
Following the discussion of standards, Agustin Grillet from the display hardware specialist Barco will report on the new public-private partnership (PPP) for photonics funded under Horizon 2020 from the perspective of the Photonics21 industry association.

Anthony Hillion from France-based Aquiti Gestion will then review trends in Europe’s venture capital sector, with a focus on investment in early-stage photonics companies and the experience gained from the photonics cluster that has emerged around Bordeaux in the Aquitaine region of south-western France.

Following an update on the global market from SPIE industry and market strategist Steve Anderson, the focus will shift towards applications, with Fraunhofer ILT chief Reinhart Poprawe covering laser additive manufacturing and Peter Peumans from IMEC on the market potential for integrated photonics presented by the life sciences sector.

The Photonics Europe event will also feature 13 optics and photonics projects from around Europe in the exhibition’s “Photonics Innovation Village”, showcasing work by not-for-profits and research centers aiming to commercialize new photonics technologies.

Organized by the “B-PHOT” team at the local Vrije University Brussels, the featured projects include technologies developed for novel fiber lasers emitting at 2 µm and therefore suited to polymer processing, mid-infrared spectroscopy for medicine and photonics-based rapid bacterial detection.

Overall, the event will feature more than 1200 presentations across 18 different technical conference themes. Photonics Europe takes place April 14-17 at the SQUARE meeting center in Brussels.

LaCroix Precision OpticsOptikos Corporation Mad City Labs, Inc.HÜBNER PhotonicsECOPTIKBerkeley Nucleonics CorporationABTech
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