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  • Reding to Address Photonics Europe
Feb 2006
CARDIFF, England, Feb. 16, 2006 -- "Europe at Light Speed" will be the keynote topic of Viviane Reding, the European Commissioner for Information Society and Media, at Photonics Europe 2006, to be held April 3-7 in Strasbourg, France.
SPIE Europe, which organizes the symposium, also announced today that the European technology platform Photonics21, which sets out priorities for photonics research and development in Europe, will be formally handed over to Commissioner Reding by Alexander von Witzleben, CEO of Jenoptik AG and president of Photonics21.
The aim of a technology platform is to generate and then operate a common vision across Europe for the development of the technologies concerned. The European Photonics Industry Consortium, which represents companies, research institutes, universities, and financial partners, is a key player in Europe and has been involved in setting up Photonics 21.
The key players hope Photonics21 will lead to a strong focus on photonics in the upcoming Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), the European Union's chief means of funding scientific research and technological development. FP7 takes over from FP6 at the beginning of 2007 and runs until 2013. It incorporates the target of raising European research funding to 3 percent of the European gross domestic product, two thirds of which should come from industry, by 2010.
SPIE said that business, research and government leaders will meet at technical conferences, networking events, a high-tech exhibition and workshops to continue the Photonics21 process at Photonics Europe. For example, a workshop organized by Photonics 21 on April 7 will bring together top industry executives and stakeholders
from areas such as information and communication, lighting and displays, manufacturing, life science and security, and education and training.
"The future of photonics research and development is being charted with Photonics21," SPIE said. "This is a very important initiative for business people and researchers from across Europe," said Hugo Thienpont, symposium chair of Photonics Europe 2006, SPIE board member and a professor of applied physics and photonics at Vrije University Brussel (Belgium).
Commissioner Reding's plenary talk is open to the public; it will be followed by 17 technical conferences on subjects involving optics, photonics, imaging, optoelectronics, nanotechnology, solar energy and sensing.
Photonics Europe 2006 will also feature a European Photonics Innovation Village showcase, under the auspices of the European Commission, to present research teams from universities, nonprofit institutions and research centers working on new applications or product development, including four projects resulting from the European Commission FP6 in 2004: NEMO (Network of Excellence in Micro Optics), PHOREMOST (NanoPhotonics to Realize Molecular-Scale Technologies), OLLA (Organic LEDs for ICT and Lighting Applications) and EPIXNET (European Network of Excellence on Photonic Integrated Components and Circuits); in addition to OPERA (Optics and Photonics in the European Research Area), the project supporting the foundation of Photonics21 technology platform.
The event will also include programs on business development and commercialization of technology, a forum on optical coatings, a conference on photonics in automobiles and a keynote address on photovoltaic solar electricity by W. Hoffmann of Schott Solar GmbH (Belgium), who is also president of the European Photovoltaic Industry Association.
A special session on national nanotechnology initiatives will include leaders from Europe, USA and Japan -- the zones with the highest concentration of nanotechnology research and investment. The European perspective will be reviewed in a plenary talk, "Nanophotonics: A Research Agenda from the Perspective of the NoE PHOREMOST," by Clivia M. Sotomayor Torres, a professor at University College Cork, Tyndall National Institute, Ireland; Sotomayor leads PHOREMOST. A presentation on the Current Nanotechnology Policy in Japan and Photonic Materials Research at the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), Japan, is planned by Kenji Kitamura, director of optosingle crystal materials research at NIMS. From the US, Sandip Tiwari, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Cornell University and director of the US National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN), will describe nanotechnology priorities and projects and their implications for photonics research and development.
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