22 Nov 2016
Aldo Kamper, 46, to lead European industry group after departure of Jenoptik’s Michael Mertin.
The next president of Photonics21 was today confirmed as Aldo Kamper, CEO of Osram Opto Semiconductors. Approved in a vote by the European group’s Board of Stakeholders (BoS), Kamper progresses from being the sole candidate to immediately succeed Jenoptik’s Dr. Michael Mertin, who announced in May that he would be stepping down from the role he has held for two terms, since November 2012.
Photonics21 tweeted the announcement: “Our Board of Stakeholders has elected a new president. Congratulations to Aldo Kamper, CEO at Osram Opto Semiconductor. We are happy to have you on board!” Photonics21 also stated that Dr. Mertin will remain a member of the Photonics21 BoS. Interestingly, Mertin’s predecessor was Martin Goetzler, who also held the position of CEO of Osram.
Our BoS elected a new president! Congratulations to Aldo Kamper, CEO Osram Opto Semiconductor, we are happy to have you on board!! pic.twitter.com/bepJ5u7flL— Photonics21 (@Photonics21) November 22, 2016
Kamper, who was born in Leischendam, Netherlands, in 1970, has been president and CEO of Osram since 2010, after holding a range of senior positions in the company since he joined in 1994, including stints in Hillsboro, NH, USA, as executive vice president and General manager specialty lighting, NAFTA, general manager automotive Lighting, NAFTA, and VP and general manager LED.
By convention, Photonics21 presidents maintain their “day job” roles while spending a certain time working for the international organization.
The election of Kamper as president was just one function of today’s BoS meeting in Frankfurt. The Photonics21 BoS also considered a range of proposals for the Horizon2020 Photonics Public-Private Partnership calls 2018-20, also being voted upon by BoS members.
Other tweets from the Frankfurt meeting gave a taste of the growing importance of the organization, the key functions of which are to represent the photonics community of industry and research organizations – and whose more than 3000 members together develop a common photonics strategy for future research and innovation in Europe.
For example, Jean-Luc Beylat, president of Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs France and VP European Programs for Bell Labs, tweeted, “Impressive democratic organization at @Photonics21 with 3000 active members (society)”.
And Photonics21 itself noted, “Where is the future of Photonics industry leading to? Fruitful discussions at Executive Board meeting in Frankfurt.”
What next for Photonics21?
At this early stage, Kamper has not made a statement about his new role or any plans for the organization. But back in May, Mertin told optics.org, “Guenther Oettinger, the European Commissioner for Economy & Society, shares my view in his Digital Agenda for Europe, which is that in order to generate growth and wealth across Europe, the goal of deriving 20% of its GDP from industrial output by 2020 must be achieved.
“Therefore Photonics21 will shift its focus more toward industrial applications in order to bridge the so-called valley of death. This means that Europe must increase its market share in the successful invention and production of goods – an area still dominated by the USA and Asia – an thereby overcome the fact that Europe’s strength so far has mainly been in developing technological advantages.”
About the Author
Matthew Peach is a contributing editor to optics.org.