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Revamped SPIE Photonics Europe event returns to Strasbourg

17 Oct 2017

Digital optics, quantum technologies and 3D printed optics among new conference topics on updated agenda including €50,000 AR/VR challenge.

SPIE’s Photonics Europe congress will return to Strasbourg, France, next year, with organizers of the biennial conference and exhibition seeking presentation proposals in a raft of emerging photonics technology areas.

Accepting proposals for papers through October 23 are sessions dedicated to digital optics, quantum technologies, optical imaging and sensing, laser-based manufacturing, attosecond science, and more.

The event, hosted by the publisher of optics.org, will take place April 22-26 in the renovated and expanded Strasbourg Convention and Exhibition Centre. SPIE Photonics Europe was last held in the French city in 2008, and since 2010 has taken place in Brussels four times.

SPIE says that several conferences have been added to the technical program, while a new augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) “design challenge” will offer cash prizes for students. The industry exhibition will run all day Tuesday and Wednesday, 24-25 April.

Other highlights include the eighth iteration of the Photonics Innovation Village, high-level plenary speakers, plus a three-segment industry program focusing on laser processing, imaging, and funding opportunities.

The event will also provide a forum to update delegates on progress under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation effort, which runs across the EU's 2013-2020 budget period. Special sessions will cover the European Metrology Programme for Innovation and Research (EMPIR), with additional events for early-stage researchers and women scientists being organized.

AR/VR Challenge
Among the new conference topics is “Digital Optics for Immersive Displays (DOIDs)”, which will be chaired by Microsoft’s Bernard Kress, alongside Wolfgang Osten from Germany’s Institut für Technische Optik; and Hagen Stolle from SeeReal Technologies.

The “AR/VR Challenge”, organized within the DOIDs conference track, will see the winners of a 3-5 minute pitch contest receive a share of €50,000 in cash, plus other prizes and support provided by sponsor donations.

Applications for the competition are due December 1, with details including optical specifications for four individual challenges devised by AR, MR, and VR industry experts for consumer applications available here.

Of the other new conference topics under discussion, Swansea University’s Stefano Taccheo will chair “Fibre Lasers and Glass Photonics”, together with Jacob Mackenzie from the University of Southampton and Maurizio Ferrari, from Italy’s CNR - Istituto di Fotonica e Nanotecnologie.

“3D Printed Optics and Additive Photonic Manufacturing” is being chaired by Alois Herkommer from Univeristät Stuttgart, Georg von Freymann from Technische Universität Kaiserslautern, and Manuel Flury, from the local Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Strasbourg.

Université Jean Monnet Saint-Etienne’s Corinne Fournier and Marc Georges from the Centre Spatial de Liège will co-chair another new conference, entitled “Unconventional Optical Imaging”, alongside Gabriel Propescu from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Other new areas include “Organic Electronics and Photonics”, chaired by the TU Dresden pair Sebastian Reineke and Koen Vandewal, while “Condensed-Phase Physics” will be chaired by Martin Schultze and Eleftherios Goulielmakis from the Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik, and Thomas Brabec from the University of Ottawa.

Quantum technology
With a flagship European project on quantum technologies set to begin shortly, this hot topic will no doubt feature prominently in Strasbourg, with Jürgen Stuhler from Toptica Photonics and Andrew Shields from UK-based Toshiba Research Europe chairing discussions in a dedicated conference session.

Other conference tracks to return include biophotonics, one again chaired by Jürgen Popp from the Leibniz-Institut für Photonische Technologien, along with Valery Tuchin from the N.G. Chernyshevsky Saratov State University, and Francesco Pavone from the European Lab for Nonlinear Spectroscopy.

Returning with an updated and redirected focus, the “Silicon Photonics” conference is now chaired by Roel Baets from the Universiteit Gent, Peter O'Brien from Ireland’s Tyndall National Institute, and Laurent Vivien, from France’s Centre de Nanosciences et de Nanotechnologies. O'Brien is deputy director of the Irish Photonic Integration Centre (IPIC) at Tyndall, and was recognized as a “champion of EU research” earlier this year.

Also returning in Strasbourg is the “Photonics Innovation Village”, providing researchers the opportunity to share their latest findings with industry. The winner of that competition will receive €1500, with first and second runners-up each winning €500. Applications are due 23 October, with full details available here:

For full details of dates, conference tracks, plenary speakers, competitions, hotel information and more, check the main SPIE Photonics Europe web site

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