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Innovators bring Prism crystals home to Europe

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Good things are happening in the European photonics industry, and five of the best were honored at a special event held in the US in January.

The 2011 Prism Awards, sponsored by Photonics Media and SPIE, recognized nine innovative products at a gala held Jan. 23 during Photonics West, and five of the nine winning companies are headquartered in Europe: Amplitude Systèmes of Pessac, France; Mermec of Monopoli, Italy; nanoplus of Gerbrunn, Germany, Optotune AG of Dietikon, Switzerland; and WITec of Ulm, Germany.

It was our great pleasure to watch as representatives of those five organizations took the stage in San Francisco to accept their awards and the admiration of the industry. You can see event coverage and photos on pages 28-29, and watch video coverage from Photonics West on our website, Check the website for information about the 2012 Prism Awards, coming soon.

Resources for research

This month, industry leaders will focus on how to realize the European Union (EU) Framework Programme “Horizon 2020” and the founding of a Photonics Public-Private Partnership, at the sixth annual meeting of the European Technology Platform, Photonics21. The agenda will place special emphasis on future research and innovation, and the European photonics strategy as a KET (key enabling technology) to enhance the competitiveness of the European industry and find solutions to Europe’s societal challenges, including an aging society, sustainability, energy efficiency and security.

The meeting, to be held March 27-28 in Brussels, will feature a high-level panel discussion with representatives from the European parliament and the EU Commission as well as from photonics and science, promising interesting discussions and insights on how to speed up the innovation process in Europe and how to better pool resources. European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes called the annual meeting “a milestone event” with regard to the future role photonics will play in “Horizon 2020.” She will deliver the keynote speech at the General Assembly. Look for event coverage in a future issue of EuroPhotonics.

Photonics Media is deeply committed to serving the global industry, as we have done since 1967. We do that in several ways: In addition to the four issues of EuroPhotonics planned for 2012, Photonics Spectra and BioPhotonics are available in print and digital editions. To help you stay current with what’s happening in the photonics industry worldwide, industry news is updated every business day at After you read the news of the day, I invite you to take five minutes to view the latest edition of Light Matters, the industry’s only weekly newscast. You will also find at archived webinars, company and event videos, and a growing selection of white papers on a broad range of subjects.

If you are reading someone else’s copy of EuroPhotonics, or have not yet subscribed, please use the enclosed card, or go to, and subscribe today. There is no cost for a subscription, and the more subscribers we have, the better we can serve the vital European photonics industry.

Look for Photonics Media publications at Laser Optics Berlin, SPIE Photonics Europe, OPTATEC, LASYS and euroLED. A calendar of events can be found on page 39 of this issue. For a complete listing of industry events, visit

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Mar 2012
2011 Prism AwardsAmericasAmplitude SystemesBelgiumdefenseEditorialEuropeEuropean photonics industryEuropean Union Framework ProgramFranceGermanyHorizon 2020imagingItalyKaren A. NewmanMERMECnanoplusNeelie KroesopticsOptotunephotonics industryPhotonics MediaPhotonics Public-Private PartnershipPhotonics West 2012Photonics21Prism AwardsPrismsSwitzerlandUSWITeclasers

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