The National University of Ireland, Galway's (NUI Galway) Atlantic Laser and Optics Forum (LightForum) held its first annual meeting on Wednesday in the Westwood House Hotel in Galway. The theme of the meeting was the expanding role of photonics in manufacturing, and featured a number of invited international speakers addressing important topics related to photonics in industry and society. The event included strategic perspectives from the European Commission, international photonics research and the European manufacturing industry. Attendees were also updated on recent developments in the forum and in the photonics community at NUI Galway, as well as new initiatives designed to make the interaction between industry and the photonics research community simpler and more effective. The Atlantic Laser and Optics Forum, launched last year, provides a framework in which scientists and professionals in industry and academia can explore and develop interactions of mutual interest. Forum attendance is free for Irish industry professionals.