Technologieforum Laser Photonik

50 years and a new record: Laser World of Photonics 2023

Great atmosphere in full halls, lively discussions and a very international audience: this is how the organizer sums up this year’s meeting of the photonics industry from June 27 to 30 in the Munich exhibition halls. According to the organizer, more than 1,300 exhibitors, 66% of them from abroad, presented their innovations to around 40,000 visitors, of whom the international share was around 55%, according to the organizer. The World of Quantum is also said to have met with a very positive response once again. The World of Photonics Congress, which took place in parallel, brought together international scientists for six days, including Nobel Prize winner Professor Donna Strickland.

“LASER World of PHOTONICS 2023 was a great success,” summed up Dr. Reinhard Pfeiffer and Stefan Rummel, the two managing directors of Messe München. “In keeping with its anniversary – LASER turns 50 this year – it once again impressively demonstrated its status as the world’s leading photonics trade fair with a new record number of visitors. Moreover, according to the trade fair survey, our exhibitors and visitors have never been as satisfied as they were this year. The successful interaction with the parallel events World of Photonics Congress, World of Quantum and Automatica once again strengthens Munich’s position as a leading technology location.” After Germany, the top ten visitor countries were (in this order): Great Britain and Northern Ireland, France, Italy, Switzerland, USA, Japan, China, Austria, Spain and South Korea.

Back to its glory

“Laser World of Photonics has finally returned to the size and format it had before the pandemic,” said a delighted Dr. Wilhelm Kaenders, chairman of the exhibitor advisory board and board member of Toptica Photonics. “New technical approaches as well as start-ups are competing with more established fields for attention in a very agile market. We all love this atmosphere, which we have had to do without for too long.” Project manager Anke Odouli confirms the positive feedback from the participating companies: “The atmosphere in the halls was excellent; the exhibitors were highly enthusiastic about the quality of the visitors and the intensive discussions at the booth.”

Every two years, Laser World of Photonics is the meeting place for international photonics experts. Image: Messe München


Key technologies: Strong growth

According to the organizers, the success of the trade show reflected the continuing upward trend of the photonics industry. According to estimates by industry association Spectaris, the global photonics market will grow by six percent per year until 2025, and the market for photonic core components such as LEDs, lasers and sensors by as much as ten percent. “The photonics industry has proven many times in the past that it is significantly more resilient than other industries thanks to its diverse areas of application,” explains Spectaris Managing Director Jörg Mayer. “Especially as a pioneer of future technologies, photonics will contribute significantly to solving societal challenges.”

Over 1300 exhibitors from all over the world presented their products and solutions. Image: Messe München


Automatica: Cross-industry synergies

For the first time, Automatica, the trade fair for robotics and automation, was held at the same time. According to the organizers, the aim of making profitable use of the numerous overlaps between the sectors was a success: Every third visitor to Automatica also came to Laser World of Photonics or World of Quantum. Dr. Sven Breitung, managing director of the VDMA Working Group on Lasers and Laser Systems for Material Processing, also welcomes the parallelism: “It is a great concern of ours to network suppliers and users of laser technology as well as players from automation and robotics.” As of now, the co-location offers the perfect opportunity to create new impulses and added value between the two industries, says Breitung, and thus to work together on innovative solutions.

World of Quantum: Meeting place for the international quantum community

Following its premiere in 2022, a strong second edition of World of Quantum took place in parallel this year, according to the organizers, with nearly 90 exhibitors and more than 15,000 trade visitors. “We are very pleased that the platform has seen such excellent visitor numbers and received top marks in the trade show survey,” says project manager Odouli. Attractions included several quantum computers and a magnetic field sensor that will control prostheses via muscle signals in the near future. “The World of Quantum is becoming the most important trade fair for all players in the field of quantum computing,” said Dr. Robert Axmann, head of the Quantum Computing Initiative of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). “That’s why we’re pleased to create a place where research, industry and suppliers can come together to advance the quantum computing ecosystem with our presence at the fair.”

The World of Quantum showcased the potential of quantum technology, such as here a magnetic field sensor that will control prostheses via muscle signals in the near future. Image: Messe München


From doctoral student to Nobel laureate

At the Photonics Congress, the international scientific community was once again able to exchange ideas on site after four years. Among the participants were great names such as Nobel Prize winner in physics Professor Donna Strickland, Herbert Walther Award winner Professor Rainer Blatt and Professor Constantin Häfner, Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT, who gave a lecture on laser-based nuclear fusion together with Tammy Ma. In five technical conferences with, according to the organizers, a total of around 3,600 scientific presentations and poster sessions, the congress covered all aspects of photonics from basic research to application-oriented development over a period of six days.

Physics Nobel laureate of 2018 Donna Strickland gave a Plenary Talk at the World of Photonics Congress. Image: Messe München


The next Laser World of Photonics and World of Quantum will be held jointly with utomatica in Munich, Germany, June 24-27, 2025. The next World of Photonics Congress will run from June 22 to 27, 2025.


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