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Photonics PPP General Assembly Cites Crucial Role of Photonics in Digitization

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BRUSSELS, March 18, 2016 — The Photonics Public Private Partnership (PPP) Annual Meeting 2016 gathered more than 370 photonics experts from industry, research organizations and politics, making it the most well-attended meeting in its 10-year history.

"Photonics is at the heart of our digitization strategy,” said Commissioner Günther Oettinger, who opened the General Assembly with a keynote speech focused on the success of European industry, asserting that 5G, robotics and factories of the future depend on photonics and strategic partnerships.

The 2016 annual meeting of the Photonics Public Private Partnership was held in Brussels
The 2016 annual meeting of the Photonics Public Private Partnership was held in Brussels, gathering more than 370 experts in the field to discuss funding and research priorities. Courtesy of Photonics21.

"We must adopt a wholesale approach,” he said. “Every sector has a competitive role to play in the digitization of industry.”

At the meeting, Michael Mertin, Photonics21 president and CEO of Jenoptik AG, recalled the success of the PPP platform, with membership in excess of 2,500, but also the good work taking place in Europe through photonics. Mertin focused on the importance of photonics in a world context, making convincing calls to ensure Europe stays at the center of the global photonics market through its critical input into the digitization of industry.

”The most promising field for photonics as key enabling technology lies within the megatrend of digitization, which will certainly have a tremendous impact on factors that shape a nation's future economic and competitive edge," said Mertin. "What I am convinced of is that the rising tide of digitization will induce fundamental changes to classic global economic structures and business models as well as to our private lives."

Wolfgang Boch, head of the Photonics Unit at DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology, of the European Commission, addressed the assembly on the progress made in the Photonics PPP, and outlined opportunities and challenges ahead.

Wolfgang Maier, director of hardware development at IBM, informed the photonics community on leading digital transformation and the advantages to be exploited with recent developments in computing.

The Photonics PPP priority setting for Horizon 2020 work program 2018 to 2020 took part across seven thematic workshops, with experts debating the funding priorities and democratically deciding on the agenda for the future.

Photonics21 is the European Technology Platform for photonics.
Mar 2016
BusinessEuropePPPHorizonEuropean Unionpeoplepartnershipswolfgang maierwolfgang bochJenoptikPhotonics21Michael Mertin

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