Photonics' economic and social impacts detailed in European parliament talks

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Martin Goetzeler, CEO of Osram and president of Photonics21, headed a Photonics21 delegation meeting with the European Parliament Science Technology Options Assessment Panel (STOA-Panel) on 24 April in Strasbourg, France.

The aim was to demonstrate how photonics will contribute to major European societal challenges such as the ageing society, the next-generation information society, and energy efficiency.

Following Goetzeler’s presentation on the economic impact of photonics for Europe and the aims of the European Technology Platform Photonics21, Hubert van den Bergh, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, pointed out the importance of photonics for diagnosis and treatment of major diseases. Stuart Barnes, executive vice president of Xtera Communications, demonstrated the increasing demand for new network technologies based on photonic components.

Photonics21 participants reported that presentations were well-received by the Parliament and led to a lively discussion between STOA members and the delegation.

STOA chairs Philippe Busquin and Malcolm Harbour were especially interested in the impact of energy-efficient lighting products and how they could be deployed in Europe at larger scale.

Catherine Trautmann, member of the Parliament and former French minister for culture and communications, discussed with delegation members how investment in communication networks could be increased in Europe.

Busquin and the delegation agreed that the Photonics21 Strategic Research Agenda will be widely circulated to the Members of the Parliament to further increase the visibility of the photonics sector. Photonics21 will provide Trautmann with more information on future developments in next-generation networks.

The STOA Panel hearing was initiated by Photonics21 Board of Stakeholders and delegation member Patrick Meyrueis, Louis Pasteur Université Strasbourg. SPIE Europe, represented by SPIE Past President Brian Culshaw, University of Strathclyde, was part of the Photonics21 delegation, in concert with the Society’s ongoing mission to further the public understanding of the field of photonics. The delegation was also supported by the EOS, represented by EOS President Hans-Peter Herzig, Université de Neuchâtel.