Commission praises outstanding PPP at European photonics summit

The European Commission’s new Director of Digital Industry, DG Connect, Lucilla Sioli, paid homage to the Photonics PPP at this year’s Annual Meeting entitled ‘Winning the Future – Europe’s Age of Light’.

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Run by the Photonics21 community as an open innovation platform, the PPP was described by Sioli as being “one of the most outstanding and efficient contractual PPP’s we have ever seen in the Commission” in her Our Way Towards FP9 speech.

The annual gathering set about defining the challenges that lie ahead in Research & Innovation for photonics and its applied fields.

Keynote speaker Carl Buhr, the European Commission’s deputy head of cabinet, welcomed over 300 key stakeholders by commencing the series of ‘ignite talks’: discussing the challenges and opportunities of a digitized world in which photonics plays a vital role.

Notable speakers were Jean-François Hebert, Vice President Sales Global Accounts High Tech Industry, Dassault Sysèmes SE who discussed the Digital Transformation for Industry Renaissance and Prof. Dr. Michael Totzeck, Fellow Corporate Research and Technology Carl Zeiss AG University of Konstanz who illustrated the history, as well as the challenges that lie ahead for a rich AR-VR experience in his On the unification of the real and the virtual world speech.

The Bluepoint Conference Centre, Brussels hosted the second leg of the event, with the latest announcements in policy and direction the Photonics PPP works on setting with its key stakeholders.

Workshop Sessions

The Workshop Sessions, fundamental in setting the strategy for a new multi-annual roadmap to take the PPP into FP 9, the Research and Innovation Framework Program beyond Horizon 2020, were the focus of the concluding day.

Working from the Vision Document, ‘Europe’s Age of Light’, the groups prioritized their top three missions from the 2030 pledges set out by the PPP, according to their workshop areas, including: Instant Diagnosis of Major Diseases, Quality Food from Farm to Fork, Accident and Congestion-free Road Transport, A truly Circular Economy, A Million New Jobs, 10% Higher Productivity, Zero Downtime in a Terabit Economy and Photonics as a Flagship Science for Innovation.

Once the Vision Document pledges had been prioritized, their respective R&I challenges and boundary conditions were then defined, with targets set on how best to achieve them.

The workshop sessions were addressed by a selection of PPP-funded projects on the state of their development and progress, including: FLAIR a toxic particle-sensor fitted to a UAV for assisting with disaster rescue efforts; MIRACLE, a mid-infrared imaging system for real time examination of degenerative joint diseases; MIREGAS, a multi-gas detector that can spot dozens of harmful emissions with a single sensor in milliseconds, and mid infrared sensing pilot line MIRPHAB.

A review of the Photonics Roadmap 2014 – 2020 showed many predictions and aspirations, set by the PPP in 2012, including the R&I and pricing of components, had already been met.

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