Events News

The future is light; the future is photonics

29th June 2015
Nat Bowers

LASER World of PHOTONICS 2015, held last week (22nd to 25th June) in Munich, has been hailed as a success with around 9% more exhibitors and 10% more visitors than the previous show. The event hosted a total of 1,227 exhibitors, over 30,000 visitors and approximately 3,500 participants in more than 2,700 lectures at the World of Photonics Congress.

Dr. Reinhard Pfeiffer, Deputy CEO, Messe München, commented: “LASER World of PHOTONICS is the most important platform for the international photonics industry. The popularity among exhibitors is reflected in the rising demand. Many companies are presenting their products and innovations at the trade fair for the first time. The enormous growth in visitors from outside Europe is also down to countries such as the USA, China and Japan.”

Entrepreneurs forge ahead in STARTUP World

The finalists of the first PHOTONICS Award (Nanolive, Norlase, 8strees, FEMTOprint, SwissLitho & Sand Made) demonstrated the unlimited potential applications of Photonics in production and medicine. Thorsten Rudolph, CEO, Anwendungszentrum Oberpfaffenhofen, said: “LASER World of PHOTONICS is the ideal platform for the first STARTUP WORLD. This is where young companies can showcase their product innovations to a wide public and establish good contacts."

The car of the future

As demonstrated by the Photonics Applications in the Automotive Industry special show, photonics is revolutionising automotive production with lasers cut car bodies, image processing ensuring safe navigation in traffic and laser headlights turning night into day. Katja Stolle, Exhibition Director, explains: “LASER World of PHOTONICS is the perfect meeting place for users and suppliers. Innovations here underpin technological leadership.”

Miracles of production

Additive manufacturing, used in lightweight construction, dental technology and medicine, was demonstrated by various exhibitors as well as by the 3DPrinting - Additive Manufacturing special show. Materialise created a stir with a prototype heart from a 3D printer, while Fraunhofer ILT used generative manufacturing to create lightweight 2x6m letters which spelt out “LIGHT”.

Photonics affects all fields

Photonics is a part of everyday life which is transforming the world in applications such as the internet, smartphones, cars, road traffic, aviation, food and beverages, medical operation and disease diagnosis. “Photonics is fascinating and has truly become a game-changer in industry and society,” commented Wolfgang Boch of the European Commission.

Gathering of the elite

UNESCO has declared 2015 as The International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies. Thiswas a golden thread runningthrough the trade fair as well as through the World of Photonics Congress. The congress, with eight scientific conferences, more than 2,700 lectures and approximately 3,500 participants, is an important meeting place for the international scientific elite, particularly for Nobel Prize winners. Dr. Eric Betzig, who was awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for "the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy", said: “Trade fairs such as this are very important because they provide the pieces of the puzzle for the next point and steps in my career.”

Top marks all round

Market research institute, TNS Infratest, conducted a poll during the show. The results showed that 97% of visitors found the trade fair “excellent to good” and will very probably return while 94% of exhibitors found the trade fair “excellent to good” and 97% will very probably take part again.

Strong industry momentum

The outlook is good for the next LASER World of PHOTONICS, planned for 26th to 29th June 2017. According to a recent study by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, SPECTARIS, VDMA and ZVEI, the global turnover of the Photonics industry in 2014 was around €350bn and is due to hit €615bn by 2020.

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