Photonics to create ‘1million new jobs’ in Europe

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A vision paper published by Photonics 21 aims to set out a new strategy for the future of European photonics and to highlight what could be achieved if this technology is maintained by the EU as a key funding priority in FP9. However, the organisation argues that Europe needs to speed the uptake of technology and its translation into new products and services.

Called ‘Europe’s Age of Light’, the paper was created through consultation with the photonics community, including more than 1700 companies and research organisations. In particular, the paper claims that more than 1million jobs could be created in Europe through photonics.

Photonics21’s president Aldo Kamper said: “The Photonics21 Vision Paper highlights what Europe could achieve if we have continued support from the EU through FP9: sustained economic growth, up to 1m new jobs, improved healthcare and a driverless vehicle revolution.”

The paper also outlines the potential for Europe to increase its market share in the global photonics market. “If Europe can stay at the forefront of photonics innovation and capitalise on fast-expanding global markets, a tripling of European production to more than €200billion by 2030 is realistic,” Kamper claimed.

The vision paper outlines potential benefits in such areas as transport, health and food. It says photonics technologies will be critical for driverless vehicles, while advanced healthcare diagnostics allow instant detection of disease. It adds the photonics could revolutionise industrial production, creating 1m new jobs by 2030.

“The photon will do for the 21st Century what the electron did for the 20th,” Kamper contended. “We are already at the forefront of this technological revolution: harnessing the power of light to solve our greatest global challenges.”