The international photonics industry will meet at their world’s leading trade fair in Munich under very special conditions at the end of June: The LASER World of PHOTONICS is celebrating its 50th anniversary and for the first time will take place, together with the congress, alongside automatica, the leading exhibition for smart automation and robotics. Both trade fairs will take place from June 27 to 30, 2023, while the World of Photonics Congress will be held from June 25 to 30. In one hall, the World of QUANTUM will offer once again the international quantum community its own platform, following its successful premiere last year. Exhibition Director Anke Odouli offers a glimpse of the innovations, key topics and highlights of the event.
There are several reasons: Firstly, the very first edition took place in Munich 50 years ago under the name LASER 73 with around 100 exhibitors. Gerd vom Hoevel, CEO of Messe München at the time, had the visionary idea to create the world’s first trade fair for the new laser technology—the first laser was developed in 1960. Messe München also took on a pioneering role in 2022, when it initiated the World of QUANTUM, a platform for the international quantum community and thus for another technology with huge potential for the future. It will once again take place alongside the LASER World of PHOTONICS in its own hall in 2023. And after a four-year break, the international scientific elite can finally gather in person again at the World of Photonics Congress. Last but not least, we are looking forward to co-locating with automatica for the first time, as there are many intersections between the automation and laser industries.
At this point in time, a good five months before the trade fair, we already have more exhibition space occupied in the six halls than in 2022 on the whole, with exhibitors from 30 countries. We have particularly high growth rates from the USA and China. The LASER World of PHOTONICS has always been broad and international, and we are pleased that many international exhibitors can take part again this year, which was hindered by travel restrictions in 2022. All the market leaders from the photonics sector and important research institutes close to the industry have already confirmed their participation.
Photonics has become a key technology, without which innovations in many areas would not be conceivable. Autonomous driving, electric mobility, life sciences, modern diagnostics and communication processes—there are hardly any industries that don’t benefit from it. The exhibition areas will of course address these topics, as will the supporting program with its forums, panels, the “Photonics in Production” special show and our career initiatives. Topics that are currently affecting the industry will also play a role there, such as the issue of supply chains and the shortage of skilled workers. Despite these challenges, the photonics industry is continuing its upward trend: For Germany alone, industry association Spectaris predicts an annual growth rate of around 6.5 percent by 2025; the industry generated €47.3 billion in sales in 2021.
We are delighted that, after the long pause, top scientists from all over the world can meet in person again at last here on our exhibition grounds. For six days, they will present and discuss their latest research results in scientific conferences and application-oriented panels. In 2023, the Congress comprises five individual conferences: The largest is CLEO®/Europe-EQEC which addresses all facets of optical technologies and photonics in the area of basic research. In addition, there will be four conferences focusing on applied science, namely LiM—Lasers in Manufacturing, Digital Optical Technologies, Optical Metrology as well as ECBO—European Conferences on Biomedical Optics.