Michael Mertin from Jenoptik AG elected as new President of Photonics21The Board of Stakeholder of the European Technology Platform Photonics21 has elected Dr. Michael Mertin, CEO of JENOPTIK AG, Jena, as new President of the organization representing the European Photonics Community in the fields of optical technologies. Dr. Mertin takes over the position from departing President Martin Goetzeler of Osram AG.

The new President studied physics at the University of Aachen (RWTH Aachen), and gained his PhD in Engineering at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology. He will lead Photonics21 during the decisive phase when Europe’s Research and Innovation policy transitions in to the new European Framework Program “Horizon 2020”. Photonics, having been designated one of the EU Commission’s five Key Enabling Technologies, will play a major role in Horizon 2020, resulting in significant industrial growth and new jobs.

In his introductory address, Dr. Mertin confirmed that Photonics21 welcomes the EU Commission’s new Horizon 2020 programme with its strong emphasis on funding for innovation, and focus on achieving real impact on growth and jobs. “This implies that Europe is fully exploiting and developing those technologies, in which Europe has a strong and well-established industry base, able to gain and defend a leading competitive position”.

On the subject of the role of Horizon 2020, he continued: «Since Europe is facing an economic crisis and has been cutting budgets across the continent, it is now crucial to ensure that every euro is spent wisely, and that all stakeholders live up to their commitments and responsibilities. Photonics21 will support this endeavor through the establishment of a Public-Private-Partnership and an industry pledge to a four-fold leverage of public funding. This future PPP is the expression of our full commitment to pursue cooperation between private and public sectors, and the perfect instrument to strengthen Europe’s innovation capacity.»

About Michael Mertin