EPIC calls for greater photonics recognition

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Carlos Lee on the European Photonics Industry Consortium's (EPIC's) latest advocacy efforts









​​EPIC has always been involved in advocacy. It started 20 years ago with encouraging the European Commission to create a Photonics Unit, and it followed with ensuring that photonics be recognised as one of the six Key Enabling Technologies, which the Commission supports through funding and policy.

Before the UN International Year of Light was launched, in 2014 the association initiated the global initiative Day of Photonics (focused specifically on the word ‘photonics’). Furthermore, we have always attended, and contributed to, Photonics21’s meetings on the Public Private Partnership. 

But let’s focus on more recent times. The support of public authorities at our AGM in Vilnius in April was overwhelming, with the participation of the prime minister of Lithuania (Ingrida Šimonytė), the vice minister of economics and innovation (Jovita Neliupšienė), and the mayor of Vilnius (Remigijus Šimašius). During the meeting, the European Investment Bank presented its plan to release the report on a European Photonics Investment Platform. 

In June, a serendipitous encounter with European Commissioner Thierry Breton offered the opportunity to pitch that photonics is a technology where Europe should play a leading role. EPIC was exhibiting at the Alde Party annual congress in Dublin (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe), where we were very pleased that it passed a resolution asking for ‘increasing investments in education, research and innovation and in particular in key enabling technologies including microelectronics, biotechnology, photonics and quantum computing’. Being in Dublin also gave an opportunity to meet with Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Ivars Ijabs from Latvia, who offered to meet with EPIC for a follow-up meeting in the summer. We’d like to organise an event with the European Parliament’s Science and Technology Options Assessment (STOA) committee to highlight how photonics is intrinsic to semiconductor and quantum technology. 

EPIC has also actively been promoting its brochure demonstrating how photonics is essential for a green future, which appeals to politicians, investors, and the public at large.

On 30 June EPIC will host its first meeting with actors representing the entire photonic integrated circuit (PIC) value chain to start work on defining a European strategy for PIC manufacturing. We have members all along the PIC value chain, and by working together we can accelerate and maybe secure Europe taking a leadership role in PIC at a global level.

If your organisation supports a sustainable photonics industry in Europe, please join us and become a member of EPIC. 

At this year’s EPIC AGM Matthew Dale learned that increasing advocacy efforts is a must to ensure an ideal future for European photonics

23 May 2022

At this year’s EPIC AGM Matthew Dale learned that increasing advocacy efforts is a must to ensure an ideal future for European photonics

23 May 2022