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Photonics West Blends Industry, Innovation, Learning - Sneak Preview (Video)

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It’s an annual must-attend event in the photonics industry, and one that for many, truly kicks off the new year. It’s Photonics West, and for more than two decades it has been a symbol of the optimism and excitement for the potential of photonics and light-based technologies.

Each year, researchers, academia and companies from around the world travel to San Francisco’s Moscone Center — this year from January 31 to February 2 — to discuss their work and research, present educational workshops and courses, and showcase innovative products and services.

More than 1300 companies are slated to exhibit this year, offering the thousands of anticipated attendees access to the world’s top companies, suppliers and business sessions, and daily product demonstrations in various technologies and applications will complement nearly 250 new product launches.

Researchers from hundreds of schools and laboratories will present their work and studies, as well as technological advances and developments in all aspects of photonics. Symposia and courses will cover areas such as laser systems engineering, silicon photonics, OCT, and virtual reality, in addition to programs on optical design software, entrepreneurship and more.

The SPIE Startup Challenge is an exciting part of the week. This annual global competition is an opportunity for new photonics entrepreneurs to pitch their light-based technology product ideas to a team of business development experts and venture capitalists, and garner feedback, all while making new connections. Winners receive cash prizes, and the chance to consult with and learn from industry experts.

Past winner Leslie Kimmerling of Double Helix notes that among the many benefits of this competition is mentorship, coaching and advice from experienced professionals in the field.

Another thrilling component of Photonics West is the annual Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation, often called the Oscars of the photonics industry. Co-sponsored by SPIE and Photonics Media, this awards program recognizes the top innovators and products in nine categories, from scientific lasers and metrology, to imaging and cameras, and additive manufacturing.

Notable innovations this year include next-generation smart lighting, accuracy-enhancing laser systems for industrial processes, and a hands-free monitor that enables continuous health monitoring in the home.

You can learn more about Photonics West 2017 online at

Join us next week as we explore San Francisco, the city by the bay.
Jan 2017
The science of measurement, particularly of lengths and angles.
metrologySPIE Photonics West 2017Sneak PreviewPhotonics WestJustine MurphyBusinessCaliforniaAmericas

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