The organisers of Photonex are responding to the needs of visitors and exhibitors alike by introducing a range of initiatives at this year's event, which takes place on 15-16 October at Stoneleigh Park in the UK.
'We held an executive panel discussion last year,' says Xmark Media's Laurence Devereux, the exhibition director. 'We have taken on board a lot of the comments made there, and introduced some measures that reflect the changing landscape of photonics.'
Specifically, these measures include an emphasis on the use of lasers in the industrial sector, underlining the UK's particular strength in this area. The seminar programme has been enhanced to shift the focus more in this direction, with input from the Association of Industrial Laser Users. Exhibitors are also being encouraged to show the industrial capabilities of lasers with on-stand demonstrations of applications, such as micromachining.
Another innovation this year is an attempt to bring together investors with innovators. The Technology Investment Forum will provide an opportunity for those developing new technologies and products to present directly to investors interested in high-tech funding in one-to-one meetings. There will also be demonstrations from start-up companies and universities of products that are 'close to market' in a special Innovation Area.
Linked to this, Devereux has also secured Doug Richard, a high-profile technology investor and former star of BBC TV's Dragon's Den, as a speaker at the Photonex event dinner.
'We have also secured the support of several high-profile organisations,' says Devereux, 'including the Photonics KTN, Photonics Cluster UK, the Sensors and Instrumentation KTN, IEEE, LEOS and UKIVA.'
'We want to be sure the event deals with all the market sectors within photonics,' he concludes. 'And this means addressing topics from automotive manufacture through spectroscopy, imaging, aerospace, instrument building and beyond.'