Monday, 03 April 2017 - Report

With strong messages coming from the Photonics PPP in solid growth above global GDP, more than 42,000 new European jobs in the industry forecast by 2020, and firmpositions in Core Segments, this year's Annual Meeting showed a Public Private Partnership that was mature and confident in its position as partner of the European Commission.

Taking place at Le Plaza Hotel, Brussels, this year's Photonics PPP Annual Meeting saw the incoming president Aldo Kamper, CEO Osram Opto Semiconductor, Khalil Rouhana, Deputy Director-General of DG CONNECT and Philippe Vannson, Head of Photonics Unit in DG CONNECT speak candidly about the achievements of the Photonics Public Private Partnership in the form of a continued growth, a creative ecosystem and being well placed to fulfill its investment pledges ahead of Horizon 2020.

Speaking about the success of the Photonics PPP in its first three years, Photonics21 Vice President Giorgio Anania showed spending on projects to exceed €277.9 million, with 335 industrial partners involved, where more than half are SMEs. With the Global Photonics Industry doubling from € 228 billion in 2005 to € 447 billion in 2015, Anania revealed how the industry had outstripped global GDP growth across the decade.

Giving a brief update on the latest Photonics PPP Impact Report and Photonics Market Data, Anania outlined the Potential of Photonics for Growth & Jobs in Europe with an impressive forecast of 42,000 newly created European jobs in the industry by the end of Horizon 2020.

These were substantial achievements and a very exciting time for incoming Photonics21 President, Aldo Kamper, CEO of Osram Opto Semiconductor to take over the good work of Dr Michael Mertin, CEO Jenoptik AG.

Speaking of a strong and effective PPP, Kamper was proud to be in charge of a partnership that is well-positioned to deliver on its pledges to quadruple the investment of the European Commission ahead of 2020, but also one that is looking ahead to the future. "The challenge for us in the photonics community is to find the next big thing."

Kamper was clear in his desire to see strengthened links: "More work needs to be done between the partners of the photonics community. We must look at the even bigger picture to see where photonics technology can contribute and reach out, outside of photonics."

Khalil Rouhana emphasized the importance of the Digitising European Industry initiative, and the creative ecosystem that the Photonics PPP enables. "This initiative ensures that any industry in Europe can not only benefit from digital innovation but can compete on a global scale, grow and create jobs," Rouhana said. This Public Private Partnership, Rouhana explained, is a reflection of what Europe does best: "Working together in a competitive manner".

Philippe Vannson discussed how the European Commission had been focusing on this creative ecosystem to foster synergies among the members in the value chain, and what would be needed for the Commission's continued investment in the technologies that boost the digital innovation capacities of Europe.

This year's Student Innovation Award was presented by Photonics21 executive board member Jaap Lombaers, and won by Lien Smeesters, PhD student and research assistant at Vrije Universiteit Brussels.

Smeesters was applauded for her work on food safety, in particular the development of spectroscopic sensing techniques for the optical detection of carcinogens in food products as well as integrating this research into in-line industrial sorting machines. She picked up a certificate, a trophy and a cash prize of € 5,000.

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