Neelie Kroes during her keynote speech to the European photonics community.© Photonics21, Photographer: Bea Uhart
Award ceremony of the Photonics21 Student Innovation Award 2014: From left to right: Eugene Arthurs (SPIE), Roberta Ramponi (CNR), Commissioner Neelie Kroes, Philip Moser, Olga Malinkiewicz (winners of the Photonics21 Student Innovation Award 2014), Peter Seitz (Hamamatsu), Marc Tremont (Carl Zeiss AG) and Michael Mertin(Jenoptik AG) © Photonics21, Photographer: Bea Uhart
The annual meeting took place at Hotel Le Plaza in Brussels © Photonics21, Photographer: Bea Uhart
European Commission (EC) Vice President Neelie Kroes addressed the Photonics21 annual meeting on 28 March, saying that over her four years in office, "I have come to know the world of European photonics very well."
Kroes emphasized the important role of photonics -- not just its basic technologies, but its power to enable other technologies as well. She said that public-private partnerships are an important tool for advancing the field most effectively. Using efficient lighting as an example, she reviewed the dynamics of such an arrangement.
"On the one hand we have significant research that can lead to greener, better products. On the other, the EU sets clear policies and targets on energy efficiency. And we have new innovations that could connect entire grids to the internet. By joining up, we can ensure that these developments all take account of each other," she said. Kroes congratulated the photonics community on its progress in creating such partnerships.
She cited the "innovation triangle" of citizens, scientists, and policymakers making possible "research that doesn't stay locked in a lab, but that leads to innovation in the market and an impact on lives." With a global market estimated at €350 billion -- almost 20 percent of that in Europe -- Kroes said there is "a powerful opportunity to make a difference" with targeted action to stimulate the industry's growth.
"Now we need to make it happen," she said.
Picture 1 (JPG, 725 MB, 150 PPI) © Photonics21, Photographer: Bea Uhart
Picture 2 (JPG, 770 MB, 150 PPI) © Photonics21, Photographer: Bea Uhart
Picture 3 (JPG, 970 MB, 150 PPI) © Photonics21, Photographer: Bea Uhart