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Community Needs to Raise Awareness of Photonics, SPIE CEO Tells Taiwan Audiences
Date:12/13/2013

Bellingham, WA (PRWEB) December 13, 2013

The pervasive and powerfully leveraging field of photonics has rich potential to help solve the world’s major challenges, Eugene Arthurs, CEO of SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, told audiences in Taiwan last week. But, he said, the community needs to raise awareness of the field if that potential is to be realized and R&D funding prioritized to fuel progress.

Arthurs presented on the field’s “Bright Future in a Changing World” as a plenary speaker at Optics and Photonics Taiwan, the International Conference, (OPTIC), and to the SPIE Student Chapter at National Central University. He noted Taiwan’s superb record in the production and export of photonics products. With .32 percent of the world’s population, Taiwan exports about 15 percent of products, including flat-screen displays, LEDs, and solar panels.

Among factors creating problems to be solved, Arthurs cited aging societies; economic structure upheaval; climate change; the “grand challenges” of energy, water, and food resources, and supply and cost of raw materials; and shrinking population in some regions.

All these represent opportunities for photonics industry development, he said. “Photonics has already contributed in many areas. We must work to ensure that we can realize the extraordinary potential.”

However, in the face of slow economic growth, straitened government science budgets, and a shortage of decision-makers who know what photonics is, more awareness of the i
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