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Optics and photonics in the European research area

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Promoting optics and photonics research

Optics and photonics are poised to become one of the most important technologies of the 21st century. An EU-funded initiative has helped to coordinate European efforts in this rapidly expanding area of research.

Digital Economy

The European project 'Optics and photonics in the European Research Area' (OPERA2015) has helped place Europe among the world's leaders in the field of optics and photonics, by providing a framework for investigating the properties and applications of light. The framework has been used to implement a joint strategy for research that will shape the future of this vital industry. One of the consortium's main achievements has been the OPERA2015 final summit where key strategic issues regarding photonics in Europe were discussed. An inventory has also been conducted of European photonics companies, which has shown that the range of businesses has increased with the addition of new EU Member States. The inventory is in the form of a detailed database that has boosted networking within the industry. The OPERA2015 website operates as an information exchange platform for those involved in optics and photonics throughout the EU, providing information to researchers, students and job-seekers. The training section lists specific issues and events aimed at improving the skills of participants. Published roadmaps of photonic activities and funding have been collated according to project. The database also indicates national and international sources of information, highlighting published data that can aid European researchers and policy-makers in their work. As a result more than 50 data sources have been identified. In view of the general need for creating stronger links between institutions and national programmes and for developing a research framework, the OPERA2015 has proved extremely valuable. The work carried out by the initiative has also enhanced Europe's position as a producer of optical and photonic technology and boosted its emerging knowledge economy.

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