LASER World of PHOTONICS 2019, the world's leading trade fair for photonics, took place in Munich from June 24 to 27. Top-level topics such as electromobility and sustainability were as much the focus of the trade fair as new methods in medicine, which are made possible by modern biophotonics. The parallel World of Photonics Congress was once again a meeting place for the international science elite with lectures by Nobel Prize winner Gérard Mourou, gravitational physicist Carsten Danzmann, quantum physicist Anton Zeilinger and other renowned scientists.
Dr. Reinhard Pfeiffer, Deputy CEO of Messe München summarized: “It was an impressive LASER World of PHOTONICS. A total of 1,325 exhibitors (2017: 1,293), a new record, from 40 countries demonstrated the diversity and importance of photonics from the automotive industry to biophotonics and all the way to the possibilities that lasers provide for global sustainability and climate protection.”
Katja Stolle, Exhibition Director of LASER World of PHOTONICS, added: “We were also able to achieve a new record among visitors. Approximately 34,000 visitors (2017: 32,700) came to the fair, 60 percent of them from abroad. The number of visitors from the USA and Asia has especially increased.”
Dr. Wilhelm Kaenders, Chairman of the Advisory Board and member of the Executive Board (CTO) of TOPTICA, also attaches great importance to the event: “LASER World of PHOTONICS with exhibition and congress is an indispensable part of a key global industry. You can experience the latest trends and innovations in laser technology there that help us change our lives for the better every day.“
Visitors were able to experience all the innovations and trends of the industry live at the LASER World of PHOTONICS. The latest lasers and laser systems for production in the exhibition area were complemented by live demos with blue light as part of the special exhibition Photons in Production. Visitors were able to take part in the expert-guided tours for very individual questions. The application panels, a practice-oriented lecture series at the World of Photonics Congress, gave deep insights into topics such as biophotonics as well as imaging and sensor technology; visitors were able to see the concrete products and solutions in the respective exhibition areas.
From the QR code rally to the Makeathon as well as from the start-up joint pavilion to the European Photonics Venture Forum (EPVF), the LASER World of PHOTONICS provided numerous program items for young photonics enthusiasts and company founders. For k-lense, which was both an exhibitor at the start-up joint pavilion and a participant at the EPVF, the trade fair is the ideal place to present their current prototypes to a wide audience, as Managing Director Matthias Schmitz explained: “The combination of trade fair and congress provides the chance for an intensive exchange between scientists and practitioners, which is exactly what we are currently doing in product development and of course benefits us as a start-up company. With the EPVF, the trade fair forms a bridge to the top topic of start-ups, namely financing. In brief: The event provides everything we need as a start-up.”
The European Photonics Venture Forum focused on knowledge transfer and capital generation for two days: Wednesday was dominated by coaching and mentoring sessions, and practical applications were the focus on Thursday, with live presentations and many questions from the investors present about the start-ups and their products.
The approximately 100 participants in the Make Light Makeathon spent a full 30 hours working on their prototypes, which they then presented to the audience Here too, one of the focal topics dealt with photonics and its contribution to climate protection and global sustainability. For example, a team presented a ship construction that collects garbage in the ocean and can distinguish it from fish thanks to sensors and artificial intelligence. A solar-powered vehicle specifically designed for the African market was also one of the prototypes presented. The available lasers, 3D printers and sensors formed the basis of the innovative ideas.
The first Innovation Award was presented in five categories at the LASER World of PHOTONICS. The jury consisting of top-rate industry and science experts selected the most innovative products and solutions, and an overall winner was awarded. Martin Hermatschweiler, Managing Director of the overall winner Nanoscribe, is enthusiastic about the Innovation Award: “After a very intensive technical development phase, this is a great distinction for our team and for the outstanding performance of our new maskless lithography system Quantum X. We are particularly pleased that we were able to convince the high-quality jury.”
The winners in the individual categories—Civan Advanced Technologies, Cylce, SWIR and TRUMPF—also demonstrated the innovative power of photonics with their products in their various areas. The award series of the LASER World of PHOTONICS was completed by the Start-Up Award. This went to the Munich founders of APICBEAM with their display technology, which generates free-floating, hologram-like images and videos. Sascha Grusche, Head of Research and Co-Founder of APICBEAM: “We were very pleased to see experts at the stand who gave us thought-provoking impulses and are important partners for our development. We have also had the opportunity to talk to manufacturers of optical components that are central to the realization of our APICBEAM display. Our very personal trade fair highlight was of course winning the Start-Up Award.”
Both awards were presented together with the British publisher Europa Science.
There was a get-together of the international science elite at Europe's largest congress for photonics: Nobel prize-winner in physics Gérard Mourou, quantum physicist Anton Zeilinger, Herbert-Walther award winner Sir Peter Knight and silicone photonics expert Michal Lipson are just a few examples of the many experts at the World of Photonics Congress.
The congress provided an impressive 3,661 talks and poster presentations. The participants were able to obtain information and discuss all scientific trend topics of photonics at the seven conferences (first time there were so many) and at the application-oriented application panels, ranging from basic to applied research.
Professor Carsten Danzmann, Head of the Institute for Gravitational Physics at the University of Hanover and Director of the Albert Einstein Institute, who gave the opening speech of the Congress, also stressed the high relevance of the event: “The World of Photonics Congress provides the highest level of exchange. The most up-to-date scientific topical topics of photonics are discussed there. It also examines which technologies will be relevant and the benefits for scientific and, ultimately, industrial use.”
Especially for the speeches of Prof. Danzmann and Prof. Mourou, the largest lecture hall in the ICM – International Congress Center Munich was filled to the brink.
The next LASER World of PHOTONICS will be held from April 26 to 29, 2022, and the next World of Photonics Congress digital from June 20 to 24, 2021.