Photonics West reports record numbers

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SPIE Photonics West reported record numbers of attendees and exhibitors at the Moscone Center from 22-27 January, with more than 19,390 presenters, visitors and exhibition staff passing through the doors.

Enthusiasm was high, among technical attendees and exhibitors at both the Biomedical Optics exhibition held on opening weekend and the 1,162-company Photonics West exhibition that ran midweek. Companies reported strong activity on the exhibition floor, with both returning and new customers visiting booths to do business. 'Photonics West is the world event in the industry,' said one exhibitor.

'Photonics West is the best meeting I have ever attended, because the conference and exhibition brings interdisciplinary science - physics, chemistry, biology and more - together with engineering. It's fantastic,' said attendee James Wynne of IBM Watson Research Center.

Wynne - developer of the technology behind laser eye surgery - presented a paper at Photonics West on a new laser technique with huge potential to help victims of burns and other scarring injuries. His paper was among the more than 4,100 technical papers presented at the event that have impact on the issues facing our global society.

Highlights of the week included:

  • Recognition of nine companies for outstanding new products with the Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation
  • A biomedical hot topics session that drew nearly 1,000 people on Saturday night
  • International plenary speakers reporting on important advances in optoelectronics, nanotechnology, MOEMS-MEMS, and all varieties of lasers
  • Expert panel discussions on markets for solar and lighting, silicon photonics, lasers, and other photonics technologies
  • Launch of a public-input phase of a new study on the photonics industry led by the National Research Council and supported by other agencies and organisations as well as SPIE; the report will update the 'Harnessing Light' survey authored in 1998 by the NRC for the National Academies.