“Europe stands on the threshold of a technological revolution: harnessing the power of light to solve our greatest global challenges. Photonics – the science of creating, manipulating, transmitting and detecting light – is literally everywhere, from smartphone displays to fibre-optic broadband to energy-saving LED lights to the laser surgery that saves our life. As light particles (known as photons) replace electrons in many of our most important technologies, innovations already in the pipeline will improve healthcare, grow food, save energy, cut pollution, expand connectivity, transform manufacturing and usher in a new era of mobility. All across the economy, photonics technology will protect jobs and drive growth Europe’s highly dynamic photonics industry is already the world’s innovation and market leader in many of the products and services that will power the digital economy of the 21st century. Some 5,000 technology-intensive companies (many of them SMEs) directly employ over 300,000 people. A global market share of 15.5% leaves Europe second only to China. Photonics is a fiercely competitive global market that was worth EUR 447 billion in 2015 and is growing by 6.2% per year. Tripling annual European production to more than EUR 200 billion by 2030 is realistic – provided we can stay at the forefront of photonics innovation.” - Europes’ Age of Light!, Photonics21.

Cork Institute of Technology and Maynooth University announce that Photonics Ireland 2018, Ireland’s premier conference for photonics research (the study of light), will be held in Páirc Uí Chaoimh stadium, Cork, 3-5 September. The recently refurbished stadium will take a break from hosting sporting stars to host over 150 leading photonics researchers from across the world.

This year’s conference is co-organised by Cork Institute of Technology and Maynooth University, with co-chairs Dr Bryan Hennelly (NUIM) and Dr William Whelan-Curtin (CIT) and technical chair Dr. David Williams. The biennial Photonics Ireland conference series has been running since 2007and covers many exciting topics such as nanophotonics and biophotonics.

The conference will feature 3 distinguished plenary speakers and a host of invited and contributed speakers, including industry and academic leaders. Plenary speakers include Prof. Malte Gather (University of St Andrews) talking on “A laser in a living cell”, Prof. Miles Padgett (University of Glasgow) will give a talk titled “How many pixels does your camera have? Ours has only one!" and Dr. Joost van Kerkhof (LioniX International, a leading Dutch company in integrated photonics) will describe the latest TriPleX™ platform for Photonic Integrated Circuits. A further 18 speakers are invited to give talks on particularly high profile research topics. Over the course of the conference, a diverse range of attendees will present over 50 contributed talks and 80 posters showcasing their work and providing updates on the 11 thematic areas.

 “The global importance of photonics industrially and societally cannot be underestimated. Photonics now plays an indispensable role in people’s lives; medical imaging and optical communications are only two obvious examples, and integrated photonics is expected to rival the electronics industry in years to come”, said conference co-chair, Dr. Bryan Hennelly, of Maynooth University.

Dr. William Whelan-Curtin, the co-chair from Cork Institute of Technology, added: “We are very excited by the lineup of excellent plenary and invited speakers and the diversity and quality of the contributed talks. This year’s conference will be an excellent showcase of photonics research”.

To highlight the increased collaboration and co-operation between academic and industrial partners, there will be a special half-day Industry & Entrepreneurship session specifically targeting industry-academia collaborations, as well as a student-oriented session organised by the OSA/SPIE Student Chapters.

Lead sponsors of the event are Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), CIT’s Centre for Advanced Photonics & Process Analysis (CAPPA), the Irish Photonic Integration Centre (IPIC), and Maynooth University.

Additional sponsors include SPIE, Institute of Physics in Ireland, IEEE UK & Ireland Photonics Chapter, and the PIXAPP Photonic Packaging Pilot Line. A number of companies have also generously supported Photonics Ireland 2018 and will have exhibition booths at the event: see http://www.photonicsireland2018.ie/sponsors/ for details.