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CORDIS Express: The potential of lasers!

This week’s edition of CORDIS Express takes a look at EU-funded research projects exploring and developing the potential of lasers.

Lasers are a key element of research across various disciplines, from life science to material research. They enable many tools that support modern life in diverse ways – from supermarket barcode scanners to missile guidance and from minimum invasive surgery to automobile production. It was the invention of the laser back in 1960 that spawned the field of photonics – the science of light – which is now one of only five Key Enabling Technologies (KET) identified by the EU. In the coming years photonics is expected to enable, among other things, the development of the future internet infrastructure, new manufacturing processes with extraordinary quality, and radical new approaches to healthcare. The current global photonics market is estimated to be worth EUR 300 billion, and Europe is said to have an overall share of 20 %. Europe is undoubtedly playing a leading role in laser research. The EU-funded Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI project), for example, is a laser facility that aims to host some of the most intense lasers world-wide – lasers that are stronger than all the world’s power stations combined. Based in four sites, it will develop new interdisciplinary research opportunities with light from these lasers and the secondary radiation derived from them. Meanwhile, the FP7-funded LASERLAB-EUROPE project is in the third phase of its successful cooperation, now bringing together 30 leading institutions in laser-based inter-disciplinary research from 16 countries. With 2015 being the International Year of Light and light-based technologies, it is especially apt for us to dedicate this week’s edition of CORDIS Express to EU-funded research projects exploring and developing the potential of lasers. - The Integrated Initiative of European Laser Research Infrastructures III - Diamond-cutting laser technology gives EU industry the edge - Trending science: 3-D printed throat implants save the lives of three infants - Network training in photonics

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