Photonics experts consult on defence and security

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A group of defence integrators and photonics clusters has launched a Business Round Table for Photonics Sensors for Defence and Security, with a mission to create business relationships between photonics SMEs who are leaders in sensor innovations and technology integrators who are seeking specific capabilities and performance for defence and security systems.

The Round Table will accelerate the presence in the market of key competitive technologies in defence and security applications. Interested defence systems manufacturers and photonics clusters are invited to join this initiative.

Jean-François Coutris, vice president of Sagem Defense and Security, which has contributed to the organisation of this initiative, said: 'SMEs are strong in technology innovation. They are both agile and inventive and can work on developments that larger industries could not afford to invest in. We must facilitate the development of these SMEs that are crucial to our competitive position.'

Thomas Pearsall, secretary general of the European Photonics Industry Consortium (EPIC), also a partner in the organisation of the Business Round Table added: 'The defence majors, like MBDA and Sagem are strong in technology integration. They have the resources and the know-how for integrating new technology into reliable systems coupled with a good view of market opportunities.'

The Business Round Table is planning meetings four times per year in different locations around Europe. SMEs will be invited to present innovations in sensor technology, and defence integrators will discuss needs for sensing systems. Participants from both sides will be able to discuss details in networking sessions during the meeting.

SMEs who would like to participate should contact the photonics cluster in their region. These clusters will decide on the participants programme. Defence and security integrators who wish to participate should contact EPIC directly.

The photonics clusters are: Anticipa (France); Cluster Photonique (Belgium); Estonian Photonics (Estonia); EPIC (EU); Heinrich-Hertz Institute (Germany); OpticsValley (France); Optoelectronics Research Center (Finland); OptecBB (Germany); POP Sud (France); Rhenaphotonics Alsace (France); Route des Lasers (France); SECPHO (Spain); Swiss Laser Net (Switzerland); Scottish Optoelectronics Association (UK); Electronics, Sensors, Photonics KTN (UK); and Wroclaw Photonics Cluster (Poland).           

The three defence majors are: Indra (Spain); MBDA (UK); and Sagem (France).