News Article

European Photonics Firms Make Research Cash Plea

Members of a European industry group say that urgent action must be taken to ensure that the region remains competitive in the photonics sector.

Representatives from several III-V companies based in Europe are calling for an increase in photonics research funding in the region.

According to the Photonics 21 group, which includes Aixtron, Bookham and Jenoptik among its key members, a lack of investment in research and development could hamper Europe's competitive edge in photonics and risk job losses.

What is required, says Jenoptik managing director Alexander von Witzleben, is a more structured collaboration between European industry, researchers, funding agencies and the European Union.

"Members of Photonics21 particularly see a need for a more structured approach and concerted action," said von Witzleben at the Photonics Europe trade show taking place in Strasbourg this week. "Europe should not compromise its head-start in the field of photonics."

According to von Witzleben, the approach to funding photonics research in the US and Asia is far superior, both in terms of the sheer cash that is available and the more structured approach: "The US and Asia spend four times as much as Europe on research and development in photonics," he said.

"Europe cannot afford to continue operating on a fragmented national basis, but instead needs to establish a common platform...under which it can compete successfully in tomorrow's markets," von Witzleben added.

Issuing its strategic research agenda to EU commissioner Viviane Reding in Strasbourg, the Photonics21 group recommended two key actions: higher European and national expenditure on research; and a pan-European strategy.

The Photonics21 members also revealed that they plan to increase their own research spending by €330 million ($405 million) per year. Now, they are calling for a doubling in funding from national programs over the next five years.

Other III-V involvement in the Photonics21 group comes from Finland-based Modulight, Osram Opto Semiconductors, Philips Lighting, Umicore, Eblana Photonics and the Alcatel-Thales III-V laboratory in France.

Bernd Schulte from Aixtron and Giorgio Anania from Bookham act on the Photonics21 executive board.

CS International to return to Brussels – bigger and better than ever!

The leading global compound semiconductor conference and exhibition will once again bring together key players from across the value chain for two-days of strategic technical sessions, dynamic talks and unrivalled networking opportunities.

Join us face-to-face between 28th – 29th June 2022

  • View the agenda.
  • 3 for the price of 1. Register your place and gain complementary access to TWO FURTHER industry leading conferences: PIC International and SSI International.
  • Email  or call +44 (0)24 7671 8970 for more details.

*90% of exhibition space has gone - book your booth before it’s too late!


Search the news archive

To close this popup you can press escape or click the close icon.
Register - Step 1

You may choose to subscribe to the Compound Semiconductor Magazine, the Compound Semiconductor Newsletter, or both. You may also request additional information if required, before submitting your application.

Please subscribe me to:


You chose the industry type of "Other"

Please enter the industry that you work in:
Please enter the industry that you work in:
Live Event