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Photonics21 elects 39 to board of stakeholders

08 Nov 2018

100-strong board includes 50 from corporate entities, with country representation led by Germany.

Members of Photonics21, the umbrella organization that represents the photonics sector in Europe, have elected 39 new members to its board of stakeholders – the main decision-making element of the group.

In line with its constitution, that board now includes the minimum number of 50 representatives from industry. Of the other half, 35 are from research organizations, with the remaining 15 from cluster networks, member societies and similar – among them Kent Rochford, the new CEO of optics.org owner and publisher SPIE.

Other new members of the board of stakeholders from the industrial side of the photonics community include Lumibird’s marketing and research chief Philippe Létevier. Prior to joining the company created from the merger of Quantel and Keopsys, Létevier launched the Bordeaux-based laser startup Eolite, subsequently acquired by the US-based micromachining systems firm Electro Scientific Industries (ESI).

Also elected was Casper Garos, who is responsible for public-private partnership (PPP) activities at Philips Medical Systems, alongside the Laser Zentrum Hanover (LZH) technical director Stefan Kaierle, and Pablo Romero from the industrial laser research center Aimen in Vigo, Spain.

Mike Wale, previously at Oclaro's UK division but now working at Eindhoven University of Technology, was also re-elected. The full list of newly elected members can be downloaded here.

Country representation
The results mean that 26 of the 100-strong board of stakeholders now represent companies or other organizations in Germany – the highest figure for any single country, but below the maximum of 30 per cent allowed under the Photonics21 constitution.

France has the second-highest number of representatives with 21, followed by Spain with nine, The Netherlands with eight, and the UK and Italy who both have seven. Sweden, Ireland, Estonia, and Slovenia each have a single representative.

The election, in which 240 of 282 Photonics21 voters participated, also saw two members from Greece elected to the board for the first time – Hercules Avramopoulos from the National Technical University of Athens, and Stavros Pissadakis from the Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas (FORTH) in Crete.

Among the key functions of the Photonics21 board of stakeholders is electing the president and executive board of the organization, as well as establishing or discontinuing working groups dedicated to specific technology or application areas.

High up the organization’s agenda at the moment is the development of a new European photonics “roadmap” and setting priorities for the forthcoming “Horizon Europe” research and innovation framework program that will begin in January 2021, as the seven-year Horizon 2020 budget period ends.

Those topics will all be under discussion at the next photonics PPP annual meeting, set to take place in Brussels on March 27-28 next year – just one day before the UK’s scheduled withdrawal from the European Union. As part of the PPP event the winner of the latest "Prototype Your Idea" competition will also be announced.

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