European photonics industry fully committed to a Public-Private Partnership for growth and jobs

Commissioner Neelie Kroes at the Photonics21 Annual Meeting: “Europe has a great high-tech story to tell, and photonics is at the centre of that story”.

Picture 1: Pauline Klaus from the Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles plays on a Laser-printed violin. © Photonics21 / Photo: Vivian Hertz

Picture 2: Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission, provides her keynote speech. © Photonics21 / Photo: Vivian Hertz

Picture 3: Michael Mertin, Photonics21 President and CEO Jenoptik. © Photonics21 / Photo: Vivian Hertz

Picture 4: Commissioner Kroes appoints Jana Huisman, a 17 year old physics and mathematics student, as the Young Ambassador for Photonics Education © Photonics21 / Photo: Vivian Hertz

Picture 5: High level panel discussion, from left to right: Anne Glover, Chief Scientific Advisor to José Manuel Barroso; Khalil Rouhana, Director DG Connect; Giorgio Anania, President & CEO Aledia; Michael Mertin, CEO Jenoptik; Jacki Davis, moderator. © Photonics21 / Photo: Vivian Hertz

Picture 6: The Photonics21 Executive Board handing over the Multiannual Strategic Roadmap “Towards 202 – Photonics driving economic growth in Europe” to Neelie Kroes. © Photonics21 / Photo: Vivian Hertz

02.05.13

Photonics21

On occasion of the 2013 Photonic21 Annual Meeting on 29th April in Brussels, industry representatives renewed their commitment to a Public-Private Partnership in Photonics as part of Horizon 2020. As Europe is slowly recovering from an economic crisis, austerity measures are still dominating daily political routine in Member States. However, smart investment must also be at the heart of any recovery strategy. This means investment in areas where Europe is strong and which have a huge potential for further growth. Photonics is a sector which, despite the crisis of the last years, has continued to grow and create jobs.

Despite the need for tightened fiscal belts, the photonics industry insists that it is essential to continue to invest is this area to keep Europe's global leadership in the face of growing international competition. The investment must come from both the private and public sources and must be combined in a strong partnership that will have a real impact in Europe. The EU support for photonics in Horizon 2020 combined with private sector investment will be the key to keeping the industry strong and Europe on the way to recovery, through more innovation, more growth and more jobs.

As a cornerstone to reach these goals, the photonics industry renews its commitment to join the European Commission in a Photonics Public Private Partnership (PPP). Speaking at a high-level roundtable, Photonics21 President Michael Mertin, CEO Jenoptik, stressed that: “Boosting economic growth and the creation of jobs in Europe through strengthening its innovation capacity will be the major challenges of Horizon 2020. Through the establishment of a Public Private Partnership the photonics community fully commits to strive for photonics innovation in Europe and to reinforce the cooperation between public and private sectors. Our innovation capacity will substantially contribute to Europe’s economy and thus benefit European citizens.”

Khalil Rouhana, Director for Components and Systems at the European Commission Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology also stated that he welcomed “a strong Public Private Partnership in Photonics in order to support a European industrial strategy for photonics for the next seven years. Such a partnership would represent an important joint investment between the European Union, industry and academia until 2020. This is the kind of mobilization of people and resources that Europe needs in order to secure leadership in global photonics and to create economic growth and new jobs in Europe."

Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes highlighted the photonics sector's role in her keynote speech, stating that "Europe has a great high-tech story to tell, and photonics is at the centre of that story. Photonics makes ultra-high speed fibre broadband possible, it is the key to the 3D printing revolution. And most importantly at this time it is the raison d'être of 5,000 of Europe's most innovative SMEs. I want to make sure those companies have the R&D support they need to lead the €300 billion global photonics market, improve lives and support new and existing jobs."

At the 2013 Photonics21 Annual Meeting, Commissioner Kroes was presented with the photonics roadmap ‘Towards 2020 – Photonics driving economic growth in Europe’, outlining priorities for photonics research and innovation under Horizon2020.

Commissioner Kroes took this opportunity to appoint Jana Huisman, a 17 year old physics and mathematics student, as the Young Ambassador for Photonics Education. This award is supported jointly by the European Commission and Photonics21 and is targeted at promoting training in photonics technologies and contibuting towards a highly qualified workforce in Europe. Photonics21 also presented the two winners of the 2013 Student Innovation Award for outstanding industrial related student research in the field of photonics – Rafael Betancur, of the Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona, and Asaf Shahmoon, from the School in Advanced Optical Technologies in Erlangen.

About Photonics21

In December 2005 the European Technology Platform ‘Photonics21’ was set up as an industry driven platform to unify the community in the area of photonics. Today, about 2,000 representatives of industry and science from most European countries have joined together to further advance Europe’s position in photonics. In September 2009, the European Commission defined photonics as one of five European Key Enabling Technologies (KET’s) and set up a High Level Expert Group of Science and Industry Representatives, where Photonics21 was represented, to develop possible policy measures to promote the industrial take-up of KETs by EU industries. In its final report published in June 2011 the group proposes 11 policy recommendations for the development and deployment of KETs in Europe, which acts as input for the next European Innovation Framework Programme ‘Horizon 2020’.

About the European photonics industry

The current global photonics market is estimated to be €300 billion. Europe’s share of this world market is approaching €60 billion, representing 20% of the total market. The European photonics industry has many market-leading industrial players and more than 5000 highly innovative SMEs. It employs ~ 300,000 employees directly, with subcontractors employing many more. The estimated annual growth rate of the €300 billion global photonics market is now greater than 10%. Between 2005 and 2008 this rapid growth resulted in more than 40,000 new jobs being created in Europe.

Press Material / Downloads

- Download Picture 1 “Laser-printed violin” in higher resolution (JPG, 300 PPI, 3 MB) © Photonics21 / Photo: Vivian Hertz
- Download Picture 2 “: Neelie Kroes” in higher resolution (JPG, 300 PPI, 2,3 MB) © Photonics21 / Photo: Vivian Hertz
- Download Picture 3 “Michael Mertin” in higher resolution (JPG, 300 PPI, 3,3 MB) © Photonics21 / Photo: Vivian Hertz
- Download Picture 4 “Jana Huisman and Neelie Kroes” in higher resolution (JPG, 300 PPI, 3,3 MB) © Photonics21 / Photo: Vivian Hertz
- Download Picture 5 “Panel discussion “ in higher resolution (JPG, 100 PPI, 400 KB) © Photonics21 / Photo: Vivian Hertz
- Download Picture 6 “Executive Board” in higher resolution (JPG, 300 PPI, 2,6 MB) © Photonics21 / Photo: Vivian Hertz

Download Multiannual Strategic Roadmap “Towards 202 – Photonics driving economic growth in Europe” (PDF, 2,6 MB) © Photonics21

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