Major progress is needed both on advanced research, and on education and training of highly-skilled workforce, if photonics is to address successfully the major socio-economical challenges facing Europe, ranging from health care to security, from energy saving to efficient and clean industrial production, and from environmental protection to fast and efficient communications.
Indeed, the industrialised world and developing countries alike have to address the problems of sustainability and quality of life, and these will require new approaches and solutions. Photonics, in recognition of its strategic significance and pervasiveness throughout many industrial sectors, has been identified as one of the Key Enabling Technologies for Europe. Not only does advanced photonics research offer new technical solutions for existing problems, but it also paves the way to as yet unimagined applications. The education and training of high-level professionals and a skilled workforce, including technicians, will allow innovation in photonics to be sustained, thus ensuring continued economic growth and employment.
Major photonics needs
Three main photonics fields have been identified that must be addressed by advanced research to tackle the main societal challenges and produce innovative solutions across the sector:
- Nanophotonics (including graphene photonics,metamaterials, and plasmonics). These offer enormous improvements in sensing, imaging, and energy generation.
- Quantum optics and quantum information. This technology will revolutionise the field of computing, data processing and secure communications,but also has the potential to impact the field of sensing.
- Extreme light (including high power, extreme wavelengths and ultra-short pulses). This technology will broaden the application of lightmatter interactions, thereby opening up innovative new techniques for sensing, imaging, material characterisation, material processing, and advanced manufacturing, and also playing a major role in fundamental studies.
Achieving these goals requires specific actions in education and training, aimed at addressing three specific target groups – young minds, professionals, and society at large. The main actions identified to address this are:
- outreach towards young minds, the general public and political authorities, aimed both at attracting more students, and at creating a strong consensus and awareness of the importance of photonics.
- strengthening the cooperation with industry, both to better match their knowledge and skills needs in third and fourth-level education programs, and to offer life-long learning programs and vocational training.
The detailed Photonics21 Work Group 7 photonics research and innovation priorities are outlined if you download the Photonics Roadmap.
You will find the Work Group 7 research and innovation priorities for Horizon 2020 Work programme 2016/2017 in the section Photonics PPP – Research and Innovation Priorities.
Information and presentations of the Work Group 7 workshops can be found in the Photonics21 member area.