German photonics industry bundles forces in new forum

January 31, 2013 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
The German association of machinery and equipment companies (VDMA) has announced to unite seven industry organisations related to photonics under one roof. The Photonics Forum bundles and networks existing competences and resources in the VDMA on a thematically oriented platform. The move is intended to generate better public awareness of technologies and value chains around light and lighting.

Members in the new forum are the German Flat Display Forum DFF, the Industrial Image Processing group, the Working Group Laser and Laser Systems for Material Processing, the Micro Technologies and Components Association, the Organic Electronics Association (OE-A), the Working Group Photovoltaic Equipment and the Productronics Association.

The network of these professional sectors which already are organized within the VDMA includes more than 500 companies and research institutions along the entire value creation chain. According to the concentration principle, this means that about 400 of those members are generating their sales in the photonics field. Taken all together, the photonics subsidiary industries officially supported by the VDMA represent a combined turnover of nearly EUR 14 billion and some 56,000 employees. These figures however are not very exact since they include multiple references.

The Photonics Forum aims to reinforce the general public awareness of the key technologies represented, because this technology segment lacks transparency for many decision-makers. In both the political arena and the capital markets, the industry group sees the need for a concerted effort in order to establish an awareness of the opportunities and future challenges of photonics.

Collaboration in a forum realises synergies, bundles “strength in numbers” and opens up opportunities to express the joint commitment for photonics and its power more succinctly. To that end, the forum has developed a roadmap with activities planned for 2013.

For more information about activities and events, visit photonik.vdma.org. Highlights include the promotion of young talent and the collaboration on a new worldwide photonics industry study financed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research as well as by the related industrial associations. Cooperation at the level of the European technology platform Photonics21, along with trade fair activities, e.g. with a view towards LASYS 2014 in Stuttgart are further fields of action.