Photonics West sets records

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A record number of international participants attended SPIE Photonics West 2013, held in San Francisco at the beginning of February.

The total registered attendance of 20,737 was up more than two per cent from last year. The exhibitions were larger – 1,238 companies in the Photonics West Exhibition, and 224 in the BiOS Expo – and there were more papers (more than 4,500) in the technical program.

Technical papers were presented in four major areas: biomedical optics, lasers, optoelectronics, and MOEMS-MEMS (micro-opto-electro-mechanical and micro-electro-mechanical systems). Attendance was strong, despite some concern around U.S. government travel funding restrictions.

Many exhibitors said they were happy with the quality of the exhibition and presentations: 'This is the best Photonics West I’ve seen in 10 years ― and they all are great,' said Kerry Van Iseghem, co-founder of Imaging Solutions Group.

'Photonics West is the place to meet everybody we need to,' added Robert Miller, business manager for optoelectronics and photovoltaics at EMD Chemicals. 'Because we’re not just a photonics company, it’s very important to be able to expand our horizons, and with so many diverse companies here, it really fits our needs.'

Sponsored by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, the event ran 2 to 7 February at Moscone Center in San Francisco. Next year's show is planned to be at the same venue, from 21 to 26 January.