Michael Mertin, CEO of Jenoptik, has been re-elected as president of Photonics21, the technology platform which represents the European photonics community of industry and research organisations. Mertin was reinstated at the Photonics21 member’s meeting at the end of November, and will hold the position for the next two years.
During the last two years, the Photonics21 association has introduced new initiatives for the photonics sector. A seven-year roadmap was adopted in 2013 with the aim of promoting research and development in the industry. And, in December 2013, the organisation concluded a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) with the European Commission; a contract between the public sector and private photonics companies.
‘This Public-Private Partnership reinforces the commitment of photonics manufacturers to promoting innovation in Europe and strengthening cooperation between private and public institutions,’ Mertin said. ‘I thank the members of Photonics21 for their trust and confidence and am determined to continue advancing this matter in the next two years.’
The Public Private Partnership is also part of ‘Horizon 2020’, a framework programme which bundles current European research and innovation projects, including those in the photonics sector. The primary objective is to encourage private investment in research and innovations, successfully introduce these to the market and also strengthen innovative small and medium-sized enterprises.
In 2009, the European Commission identified photonics as one of five key enabling technologies (KET), confirming its role as an important driver of innovation for numerous other sectors. According to a study by the European Commission, 20 to 30 per cent of the European economy is already dependent on photonics.
The European technology platform Photonics21 was established in December 2005 by companies and research institutes from the field of optical technologies. This photonics association now has over 2,500 members from most European countries. They continue to promote a joint European position on optical technologies in the 21st century.