Invest in Photonics to build on successful debut with 2010 event

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Invest in Photonics, the photonics partnering event held in Bordeaux in December 2008, attracted more than 100 of the world's leading photonics specialists and presented 16 projects representing a total potential investment of €100m. The event will be held for the second time in 2010. Invest in Photonics was initiated by the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce and co-organised with ALPhA (Aquitaine Laser Photonics and Applications) and the CEA (French Atomic Energy Commission).

'That first event really was a great success and it shows that photonics has become part of our daily lives,' explains Guy-Georges Legrand, chairman of Invest in Photonics. 'Thanks to an effective partnership with all public- and private-sector players, as well as those of the industry, we were able to show, over two days, that Bordeaux can be the world capital of photonics.'

There were 50 international applications for funding received, with 16 selected projects presented during the event. Of these 16 projects, 30 per cent were received from outside France, with applications from Canada, Poland and Austria. French applications showed a balanced geographical breakdown, with a majority coming from Ile-de-France (i.e. Paris and its region). Projects included medical imaging, semiconductor materials for photovoltaic energy, and liquid lens technology for cameras and mobile phones.

The world's leading specialists in photonics attended the conference held alongside the forum, including Dr Bernard Couillaud (Bookham), Stephen G Anderson (Laser Focus World), Professor Dennis Matthews (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory), Thomas Kallstenius (Alcatel Lucent) and Alain Rodermann (Sofinnova Partners).

The region of Aquitaine is aiming to become one of Europe's leaders in the optics sector, offering an innovative industrial framework and an efficient R&D cluster supported by universities, the CEA, CNRS (French National Scientific Research Centre), INSERM (French National Health & Medical Research Institute) and INRA (French National Agronomic Research Institute). The region also offers acknowledged expertise in advanced teaching and ongoing training, and a new School for Advanced Optics will open soon in the town of Talence.