BRUSSELS, Nov. 14, 2012 — Dr. Michael Mertin, CEO of Jenoptik AG, is the new president of the European Technology Platform Photonics21, the organization has announced. His election fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Osram’s Martin Goetzeler earlier this year.
Mertin will lead Photonics21 during the transition of Europe’s research and innovation programs, including those of the photonics industries, into the new European Union Framework Programme “Horizon 2020.” Photonics is considered a major component in the development of other sectors, which is why the EU Commission designated it in 2009 as one of five key enabling technologies with great growth potential. (See: Photonics Industry Commits to $9.5B Investment in Europe
“Since Europe is facing an economic crisis and has been cutting budgets across the continent, it is now crucial to ensure that every euro is spent wisely, and that all stakeholders live up to their commitments and responsibilities,” Mertin said.
“Michael is an excellent choice to coordinate the diverse elements of the European photonics industry in the role of president of Photonics21,” said Dr. Eugene Arthurs, SPIE CEO and a member of the Photonics21 board of stakeholders. “His industry acumen and wide experience will be crucial to the transition of Photonics21 to a public/private partnership so as to realize maximum benefits for the photonics community from Horizon 2020.”
The current global photonics market is estimated to be €300 billion (about $382 billion). Europe’s share of this world market is approaching €60 billion, representing more than 20 percent of the total market. The European photonics industry employs about 300,000 workers directly, with subcontractors employing many more, and has more than 5000 SMEs (small- and medium-sized enterprises). The estimated annual growth rate is estimated to be around 8 to 10 percent, growing the photonics market by up to €500 billion in 2015.
In 1996, Mertin joined Carl Zeiss as head of technology coating at the group’s technology center and held several senior management positions there over the next 10 years. In October 2006, he moved to Jenoptik, where he was named chief operating officer on the executive board. He became president and CEO in July 2007.
Mertin is an active member of several technology associations and economic committees, including Spectaris, the German Hightech Industry Association, the Federal and Thuringian executive committees of the Economic Council Germany, and the University Council of the Illmenau University of Technology. In 2011, he was an invited presenter at the Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation, which are co-sponsored by Photonics Media and SPIE.
For Mertin’s perspective on the optics industry, see: http://spie.org/x47450.xml
For more information on Horizon 2020 or Photonics21, visit: www.photonics21.org