Global Photonics Alliance for Optics and Photonics Clusters

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There are more than 40 optics and photonics clusters in the Americas, Canada, Europe, and Asia. Backing them is the Global Photonics Alliance, established as a forum for leaders of those clusters from around the world. The initiative originated from the Quebec Photonic Network in Canada (now known as Optonique) and led by Marie-Christine Ferland. It is supported by the German organization OptoNet, with coordination by Anke Mank, and by Optics Valley, led by me, Jack Schumann, in partnership with John Dennis, in the U.S.


Jack Schumann

The vision of the alliance is to create one common bridge between all optics and photonics clusters to foster ideation, networking, entrepreneurship, and innovation. The alliance also seeks to empower communication and business between its members globally. Further, it seeks to raise awareness of the industry.

To continue elevating optics and photonics and its applications, it is important that global industry clusters work cohesively to understand and solve common challenges such as globalization and international trade and export, while also raising awareness of international science. Like most everything, solutions to these challenges cannot be solved by a single region or organization. Some of the world’s most complex challenges — such as big data, quantum technologies, integrated photonics, space technology, environmental challenges, and logistics and migration — require global industry clusters to jointly create solutions.

Working together becomes even more relevant when considering the current and future industry talent pool. With a worldwide shortage of qualified talent, the industry faces the pivotal and crucial task of developing its workforce and offering activities that promote and raise awareness of sciences and physics around the globe. To support this large but achievable task, organizations such as the Global Photonics Alliance are finding ways to further engagement and interest by holding their meetings during major industry events, including Photonics West, the LASER World of PHOTONICS, and Arizona Photonics Days.

Through these activities, the alliance continues to actively encourage sharing best practices and ideas, establishing joint projects, enhancing governmental relations, incorporating expert marketing and communications strategies and tactics, and serving as a multiplier for member companies across borders, sharing information and knowledge.

Published: August 2019
Global Photonics AllianceOptoniqueOptoNetOptics ValleyOptics Special Section

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