Düsseldorf, 25.08.2017
Participate – Photonics21 Board of Stakeholders Election 2017
Photonics Park: a new global centre of excellence in the field of photonics
Photonics21 Student Innovation Award winner – New laser scanner to zap toxic French fries
Photonics PPP project PAMMOTH - Laser imaging 'bowl' to give instant test for breast cancer
Join – International Conference on Industrial Laser Processing (JNPLI), 13-14 September 2017, Strasbourg, France
Join – AutoSens, 19-21 September, Brussels, Belgium
Join – PI-SCALE 2nd “Hands-on” Flexible OLED Lighting Workshop, 26-27 September, Darmstadt, Germany
Join – LED professional Symposium, 26-28 September 2017, Bregenz, Austria
Join – OPS2017, 18-19 October, Kista, Sweden

   Dear Photonics21 member

In this newsletter edition we would like to inform you on the Photonics21 Board of Stakeholders election 2017. The subscription to the register of voters is open and you can nominate candidates for the 20 open seats in the Board of Stakeholders.

Additionally we are reporting about the new Photonics Science Park in France, the Photonics21 Innovation Award Winner Lien Smeesters and her project and the Photonics PPP project PAMMOTH which works on a hemispheric bowl to detect breast cancer.

We also encourage you to join the announced events like the International Conference on Industrial Laser Processing in Strasbourg, AutoSens in Brussels, the PI-SCALE 2nd Hands on Workshop on flexible OLEDs, the LED professional Symposium in Bregenz and the Optics & Photonics Conference in Sweden.

If you would like to inform the Photonics21 membership on any photonics activities or events within your national or regional photonics community or provide us your feedback to the Photonics21 newsletter you can send it to SECRETARIAT@PHOTONICS21.ORG.

Best regards

Secretariat Photonics21


The Photonics21 Board of Stakeholders election 2017 will take place in the fourth quarter of 2017. You will find all details about the voting process, the time schedule and necessary templates and legal documents here.

The Photonics21 Board of Stakeholder consists of 100 members (max). Due to the fact that 5 people stepped in as successors of former elected candidates and the transitional rules of rotation (§ 11 Terms of Reference – Drawing Lots Process) the number of seats which are available for election are 20 in total. The Photonics21 Executive Board decided on the election process and timetable and scheduled the election on the 6th November 2017 (which is the final day of the 14-days online voting period).

Register as a Voter

According to the Photonics21 Terms of Reference the Photonics21 Board of Stakeholders election will take place electronically by online voting using a web-based voting tool.

To participate in the online voting Photonics21 members are asked to subscribe to the register of voters via the Photonics21 website at latest by 25th September 2017(cut off end of day). Registration as a voter can only take place by filling in the online registration.

According to the Terms of Reference each Photonics21 member has one vote, it being understood, however, that only one vote per each affiliation can be cast, regardless of how many Photonics21 members the affiliation employs. It is the responsibility of each affiliation to organize that the correct vote is cast on behalf of all the Photonics21 members it employs. An affiliation (corporation) in this understanding is defined by all the fully consolidated units in the Annual Report of the respective affiliation (corporation).

You can check the register of voters if your affiliation is already registered.

In this context we would also kindly ask you to update the contact details of your Photonics21 membership account in case you have changed your company/ organisation and now belong to a different affiliation.

Nominate Board of Stakeholder Candidates

We would like to encourage you to nominate candidates to the Board of Stakeholders.

View the current Board of Stakeholder members and check whether your affiliation is already represented.

Please note that the deadline for submitting the nomination letter for a Board of Stakeholder candidate is the 22nd September 2017(cut off end of day).

Any further details and the corresponding nomination template are available here.  

For further information, please also consult the Photonics21 Terms of Reference.

Photonics Bretagne, recognised as a Photonics Innovation Hub, has just inaugurated, the 7th July 2017, a new Photonics Park in Lannion (Brittany – France).

Initiated last year, this first Science Park dedicated to photonics, is located in a unique ecosystem (Industry, Research centres, Schools). It aims at fostering technology transfer to local companies, creating start-ups and more broadly at promoting photonics business growth, already quite high (>15%/year) in the region.

Carried out by Photonics Bretagne and strongly supported by local authorities, this Photonics Park will confirm Brittany as a European pole of excellence in photonics.
This new Photonics Park gathers in one place a Research and Technology Organisation (RTO), a business hotel and a start-up/SME incubator.

It hosts new facilities, integrating optical labs, a brand new 13m high draw tower and a phase vapor deposition system dedicated to the fabrication of next generation preforms.

With this new equipment, Photonics Bretagne has already begun the development of new specialty optical fibres (broadband hollow core, active LMA, multicore and few-mode fibres) with local companies, as part of collaborative technological projects.

It will grow significantly to offer solutions in most of the Photonics areas (sensors, lasers…), to regional players and international customers, for a broad range of applications.

The Photonics Park is a major project for Lannion and more generally for the Brittany region traditionally anchored in the Photonics industry with well-known world leaders in the field (Keopsys, Ixblue, Yenista, Quantel, Oxxius, Idil, Ekinops…), a large offer of photonics degrees from BSc to PhD, and also a high level CNRS research centre.

With a total cost of 1,8M€, Photonics Park is funded by ERDF (European Regional Development Fund), the French state, the Brittany regional council, the Cotes d’Armor department and Lannion Trégor Communauté.

Photonics Bretagne is proud to have initiated this recently inaugurated Photonics Park, a new global centre of excellence in the field of photonics, unique in France.

Amid growing concern about the discovery of cancer-causing chemicals in crisps and French fries, a young scientist has developed a new laser system that scans peeled potatoes in the factory to detect toxic compounds and prevent them from reaching the consumer. 

Earlier this year, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) issued warnings about eating over-fried potatoes, burnt toast and crisps that can contain cancer-causing chemicals such as acrylamide, deeming them a serious health threat to billions of consumers.

At present, raw potatoes that produce an excess of the carcinogenic chemical acrylamide cannot be detected in a fast, sensitive, and non-destructive way.

This new technique developed by Lien Smeesters, 28, at the B-PHOT Brussels Photonics Team at the University of Brussels, in collaboration with Tomra Sorting Solutions, employs a new sensor that scans peeled potatoes, weeding out food that may cause high levels of the toxic chemical.

Currently only general quality tests are available for assessing potatoes with no accurate acrylamide detection. Food safety measures involve a person examining a sample and accepting an entire batch if the small selection passes. However, with this new sensor, every potato or individual French fry can be examined in a rapid, safe and thorough manner for the first time.

Photonics for Factories

It works by scanning the ‘free falling’ food items, such as potatoes, from both the front and back with a laser that employs ‘spatially resolved spectroscopy’, a non-invasive imaging technique using infrared light.

When the laser beam hits a potato, part of the light will be internally scattered during interaction with the tissue. A bad potato produces a deviating internal scattering signal, owing to the high acrylamide precursors, and therefore the system can recognize a 'fingerprint' of the undesirable food'.

This unwanted food item is spotted in mid-air as it begins to fall. Selected by the internal processor, the potatois then ‘knocked out’ of the batch by being blasted with a stream of air and into a reject bin before it hits the conveyor belt below.

The sensor is able to do this with each and every individual potato scanning and rejecting in tiny fractions of a second. Dr Smeesters explains:

“Not all potatoes result in excessive acrylamide formation during frying. We have sought to spot the undesirable potatoes when they are in their raw, peeled stage. After scanning with laser beams, the good potatoes will emit a different light signal than the unsuited ones leading to an unambiguous detection.”

Having filed a patent describing the use of this detection method, the laser scanner will be integrated into one of Tomra’s industrial in-line sorting machines, detecting and discarding food items that may contain excessive acrylamide precursors.

Several tons of products could be examined per hour to look for these carcinogenic compounds without using dyes or chemical additives, and without damaging or even touching the food.

Lien Smeesters – Photonics21 Student Award Winner

The driving force behind the detection method, Dr Lien Smeesters, 28, post-doctoral researcher at the University in Brussels in the B-PHOT Brussels Photonics Team and recent winner of the Student Innovation Award at the Photonics Public Private Partnership Annual Meeting, describes the motivation for the project:

“When frying potatoes, acrylamide formation is one of the biggest concerns of the potato-processing agriculture industry. At present raw potatoes that produce an excess of acrylamide cannot be detected in a fast, sensitive and non-destructive way.”

“Therefore, we have worked with Tomra Sorting Solutions to develop a spatially-resolved spectroscopic sensor that identifies raw potatoes with high acrylamide precursor concentrations, on basis of their internal scattering properties, in miliseconds.”

Smeesters’ development comes at a time where tougher acrylamide regulation has been called for by the sustainability group ‘Changing Markets Foundation’ as well as the recent ‘Go for Gold’ campaign by the Food Standards Agency, helping people understand how to minimize exposure to acrylamide when cooking at home.

“With so many products containing worrying levels of acrylamide above the EU Indicative Value guidelines, we had to take action. This research and collaboration will hopefully provide unprecedented levels of food safety for millions”, Smeesters said.

Future Home Use

Smeesters sees the future benefits of this sensor being more widely available to users in the kitchen:

“Although we are a long way off this yet, the miniaturization of the technology would enable a compact potato quality test tool in your home. A hand-held device indicating whether a potato would be unsuited for frying could reduce our exposure to acrylamide.”

“We hope that potatoes unsuited for frying or roasting can be removed from the food chain right up to the end point, at the user level.”

“One day we envisage a world where toxic French fries will be a thing of the past!"

In a bid to make the world's first while-you-wait test for breast cancer, European scientists are developing a comfortable hemispherical bowl lined with laser sources and ultrasound detectors with the potential to reduce the stages in spotting the disease into a single appointment.

Current breast cancer diagnosis can be distressing and painful over a number of weeks.

Multiple stages can involve visiting a GP, being sent to a specialist for an x-ray mammogram, having an ultrasound, before undergoing a needle, a punch or a vacuum assisted biopsy, as well as placing one breast at a time between two metal plates in a painful clamp.

However, a new imaging system being developed by scientists at the University of Twente, in the Netherlands intends to remove the discomfort and uncertainty involved in a diagnosis.

The device employs both light and sound together in a technique called ‘photoacoustics’, combining lasers and photonics with ultrasound detection.

The size of a hospital bed, a patient lies face down placing their breast snugly into the ‘reader’, a hemispherical ‘bowl’ lined with up to a hundred optical fibres, and several ultrasound detectors.

Multiple images of a suspect breast and tumour are then acquired from dozens of different angles before assembling the multiple shots into a single 3D image. 

The ‘PAMMOTH’ (or “Photoacoustic Ultrasound Mammoscopy for evaluating screening-detected abnormalities in the breast”), hopes to lead the research into photoacoustic, real-time 3D imaging of suspicious lesions. Project Coordinator Srirang Manohar explains:

“We are creating an imaging device that we hope will reduce all of the stages involved in spotting breast cancer into one convenient appointment in order to reduce time, uncertainty and the number of unnecessary biopsies. We intend to make breast cancer diagnosis a one-stop-shop, while you wait.”

Light and Sound

It works by sending short pulses of light into the breast towards the suspected lesion. Some of the delivered energy will be absorbed in the tissue and converted into heat, leading to transient thermoelastic expansion, or a mechanical ‘push’ signal from the suspected tumour.

Ultrasound detectors on the surface of the breast, from the hemispherical reader ‘bowl’ where the breast is placed, can then detect and measure these ‘push’ signals before analysing them on site. Here the imager can look into the haemoglobin (the oxygen-carrying protein in the blood) activity within the suspected tumour.

Since tumours consume oxygen at high rates to survive, lower oxygenation levels around a suspect lesion could tell a physician that a suspect lump is more likely to be a malignant growth than not.

The imager employs a multi-wavelength illumination in the near-infrared wavelength region to extract information about blood oxygenation, using PAMMOTH’s own image reconstruction methods.

Aggressive or Benign

As part of the PAMMOTH team, researchers at University College London (UCL) are working on the mathematics, the image reconstruction and the analysis of the signals to determine how aggressive a tumour could be.

By gathering key information about the haemoglobin and oxygenation levels to and from the suspected tumour, the user could diagnose how likely it would be for the tumour to spread or whether it was simply benign.

“An aggressive tumour has a high metabolism and consumes oxygen more rapidly than normal tissue or a benign lesion. Our instrument and the mathematical approaches we are developing could allow us to check the oxygen saturation rate accurately.”

“If a patient’s oxygen saturation rate was found to be considerably lower than surrounding tissue then we could pinpoint where an aggressive tumour could be, and radiologists could understand how the tumour is likely to behave.” Manohar said.

Unnecessary Biopsies

Current techniques to diagnose breast cancer such as x-ray mammography, ultrasound or MRI scans can sometimes fail to spot a tumour from healthy tissue or a benign abnormality, resulting in tumours that are missed and unnecessary biopsies being carried out.

Unnecessary biopsies and risks of ‘false positives’ (a result incorrectly indicating the presence of a disease) in breast cancer diagnosis are hotly contested topics among medical experts today. As well as the untold stress and discomfort experienced by women all over the world by unnecessary treatments, inefficient diagnoses have an extremely worrying cost implication.

Every year in the US alone, $4 billion is spent on false-positive mammograms and breast cancer over diagnosis among women ages 40-59, according to research published in Health Affairs. A similar picture is played out across Europe with millions of Euros being spent on unnecessary mammograms.

“A prime focus of the PAMMOTH project is to develop an imager and data analysis to be able to intervene at a very early stage. We need to be able to say whether a suspect lesion is good or bad. This technique would have a substantial impact upon the money spent on unnecessary biopsies, as well as to remove the trauma involved in a diagnosis for women around the world,” said Manohar.

The PAMMOTH team hopes to have a prototype ready for 2020 ready for completion in 2021.

Join – International Conference on Industrial Laser Processing (JNPLI), 13-14 September 2017, Strasbourg, France

The 2017 International Conference on Industrial Laser Processing (JNPLI)will occur on 13th & 14th September 2017 at the convention center in Strasbourg / France. JNPLI is a major event dedicated to industrial laser technologies and their advances. The JNPLI offers an overview of the latest innovations and recently implemented laser applications.

This event is supported by ICube and the University of Strasbourg.

The main topics for the conference will be related to:

  • Laser processing in Smart Factory & Industry 4.0,
  • Additive manufacturing on metals or polymers,
  • Joining of dissimilar materials,
  • Surface texturing & surface treatment,
  • Transparent materials processing,
  • Process monitoring & control,
  • Beam shaping & delivery,
  • New laser developments,
  • Power scaling of ultrafast lasers,
  • Frequency conversion.

Here is the link for submission: click here

Your submission has to be send to: communication@laserenligne.fr
The conference program will include several thematic sessions and many networking opportunities between attendees. Simultaneous translation will be available. You'll also have access to coffee-breaks and a buffet for lunch.

This new edition is held simultaneously with ESPACE LASER 2017, the European Trade Fair for Laser Processing in the Industry of the Future. Resolutely industrial, ESPACE LASER is the only trade fair in France dedicated to materials and laser techniques for the industry. It displays all the production techniques and new laser additive manufacturing technologies for the development and rapid production of complex parts and customized products.

Join – AutoSens, 19-21 September, Brussels, Belgium

The world’s leading technical summit for ADAS and autonomous vehicle perception technology. Built on the vision of senior technical experts at automotive OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers, and delivered by conference experts with a passion for engineering.

We make a welcome return to AutoWorld in September 2017 – a spectacular venue for anyone with a passion for cars. Once again, the perfect backdrop for the continuation of technical discussion concerning the future of vehicle perception technology. With the AutoSens Awards, added venue features and enhanced networking, even previous attendees will have a multitude of new experiences in 2017

Join us and participate in industry-wide knowledge sharing and discussion.

Get a 15% discount on the tickets when using our personalized link.

Find out more about AutoSens on the event’s website.

Join – PI-SCALE 2nd “Hands-on” Flexible OLED Lighting Workshop, 26-27 September, Darmstadt, Germany

A two day event organised by PI-SCALE project to explore the business and product design possibilities created by flexible OLED lighting, which consists of multi-sessions "Hands-on" Flexible OLED Lighting Workshop where attendees can explore their ideas for integration of flexible OLEDs into their products and new designs together with OLED experts.

The "Hands-on" Flexible OLED Lighting Workshop is intended for designers and product developers from not only the automotive industry, but also many other different application areas including architecture, aerospace, fashion and consumer electronics. The workshop will offer a deep level of understanding of the possibilities and technical challenges of integrating OLEDs into existing and future products, and explain how the PI-SCALE pilot line can help with this. Discussions with OLED experts from industry and R&D will offer the attendees the opportunity to work through design concepts and have their questions about the technology answered. Three sessions of workshop will be available over the two days at the ISAL conference, and space for this workshop is limited to 40 places per session so please register your interest via the instructions below as soon as possible.

This event will provide a demonstrator showcase existing commercially available OLEDs and flexible OLEDs from the pilot line.

Further information, including agenda, can be found at the event’s website.

The LED professional Symposium +Expo (LpS) is an annual event and meeting point for experts from international lighting industries and research, which takes place at the Festspielhaus in Bregenz, Austria. 

With about 100 lectures, several workshops, 1,600 expected visitors and around 100 exhibitors, this event is one of the world’s leading lighting technology conferences. 

The seventh LpS will cover trends and technologies for future lighting solutions under the motto: "Smart Technologies for Lighting Innovations" from September 26 to 28, 2017. 

Early-Bird-Tickets are available at www.LpS2017.com/registration.

Get more information on the event’s website.

Optics & Photonics in Sweden conference (OPS) 2017 will be held 18-19 October 2017 in Kista, Stockholm at Electrum.
Invited talks will cover a variety of topics in Optics and Photonics, reflecting current Swedish research and development at universities, institutes and in the industry. Keynote speakers will highlight European research and developments.

A poster session will provide an additional opportunity to display to the most recent developments and achievements. It will also give an overview of Optics and Photonics in Sweden and offer a good platform for creating new collaborations. Follow the link to find out more about the Abstract Submission.

An exhibition and a session with company presentations will be held in parallel to the technical sessions to provide industry, institutes, and associations an opportunity to display their products and services and bridge the gap between science and industry.
More information can be found on the event website.

The conference is organised by PhotonicSweden (PS) and the Swedish Optical Society (SOS).