The international photonics industry met again in person at LASER World of PHOTONICS 2022 in Munich from April 26 to 29. The world’s leading trade fair lent support to an industry that is on the upswing worldwide. For the first time, the World of QUANTUM also provided a stage for the international quantum community. It also highlighted the central role photonics plays in areas such as medical technology, electromobility and industrial manufacturing.
Due to the coronavirus-related postponement, LASER World of PHOTONICS took place without the parallel congress; the industry will meet again next year in Munich with the usual format. Dr. Reinhard Pfeiffer, Deputy CEO of Messe München, sums up: “The response has clearly exceeded our expectations: More than 15,000 trade fair visitors traveled to Munich. That's a good 80 percent of the level of trade show attendees at the 2019 pre-event, an outstanding result for a trade fair in the time of coronavirus. 39 percent of visitors came from abroad, with the U.S. and Israel leading the way. We are also very pleased with the successful premiere of the World of QUANTUM, a platform for a future technology that is largely based on photonics and expected to be at least as promising.”
“LASER is alive and well again!” says Dr. Wilhelm Kaenders, Chairman of the Exhibitor Board and CEO of TOPTICA Photonics AG. “After three years and having successfully found its way through various crises, the industry can once again show its full innovative capacity. The quantum topic is an opportunity to reopen an old gateway for the future of photonics.”
The show was an important milestone for an industry on the upswing. Over 900 exhibitors from more than 30 countries made an appearance (2019: 1,325 exhibitors from more than 40 countries), including 15 national and international joint stands. After Germany, the top ten exhibitor countries were U.S., France, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Switzerland, China, Lithuania, Netherlands, Canada, Finland and Japan. The top ten visiting countries from abroad included Switzerland, Italy, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Israel, France, U.S., Czech Republic, Austria, Netherlands and Spain.
“There is immense growth potential for photonics,” explains Jörg Mayer, Managing Director of the industry association SPECTARIS. “For the German photonics industry alone, experts in 2020 forecast average annual growth of more than six percent and total sales of almost 60 billion euros by 2025. I am confident that this target will be met, if not exceeded, despite the current global challenges.”
Held for the first time in its own hall, the World of QUANTUM quickly won positive feedback: more than 60 percent of all trade fair participants visited this new area, and more than 90 percent of them were excited about the offering of World of QUANTUM according to a survey carried out by the trade fair. It is currently the world’s largest platform for connecting science, industry and users from the field of quantum technology, providing the latest information on current research findings and presenting initial sample applications of this future technology. IBM Quantum gave visitors a look inside its quantum computer using a model. And at the Qiskit Hackathon, organized in cooperation with partners IBM Quantum and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, teams of young talent were able to try out programming quantum computers. “The World of QUANTUM was an immense success,” said a delighted Dr. Lechner, Executive Director at Messe München. “Together with our partners, we’re off to a great start, and we’ll continue down this path together.” Dr. Walter Riess, Manager Quantum Technology at IBM Research Europe, added: "The World of QUANTUM more than exceeded my expectations. I am already looking forward to next year.”
“After a forced break of more than three years, the trade fair is even more valuable for establishing and maintaining contacts with our customers. The positive response at our booth is clear proof of this,” explains Markus Spanner, CEO Physik Instrumente. Dr. Thomas Fehn, Chief Sales Officer at TRUMPF Laser Technology, says: “LASER World of PHOTONICS is one of the central platforms for presenting our newest ideas and sharing technical information with our international customers.” Jürgen Niederhofer, General Manager MKS Instruments says, “Our expectations with regard to the number of visitors and customer inquiries have been exceeded. The quality of leads is very good and we have had interesting talks.” Benjamin Rudolph, Co-founder of SI Stuttgart Instruments, was a first-time exhibitor with his start-up: "The trade fair is an excellent place to meet and network, and to build new partnerships. What’s more, we have exciting leads to take back to Stuttgart with us. We are especially delighted to be honored with 1st place in the Innovation Award.”
The Innovation Award was presented for the second time in conjunction with Europa Science. A jury consisting of top experts from industry and science selected the most innovative products in a total of six categories; the SI Stuttgart Instruments was also honored as the overall winner. The winners in the individual categories are Hamamatsu Photonics Germany, Glassomer, SI Stuttgart Instruments, QiOVA, ID Quantique and Xarion Laser Acoustics.
Exhibition Director Anke Odouli concludes, “The industry once again impressively demonstrated the key role that photonics plays for innovation in many other areas. And our extensive supporting program offered a spotlight for expert discussions and knowledge transfer.”
The next LASER World of PHOTONICS will be held at the Messe München exhibition center from June 27-30, 2023, and the next World of Photonics Congress from June 25-30, 2023.
Pictures and videos of LASER World of PHOTONICS can be found here.