October 2016 Number 109
- This Newsletter as PDF (2.6MB)
- The Mexican Photonics Initiative
- Hands-on activities at the ICTP Winter College
- Optics Symposia in Armenia
The Mexican Academy of Optics, RIAO, and Promexico to launch the Iniciativa Mexicana de Fotónica.
Optics and photonics play an increasingly relevant role all around the world, since those are the backbone technologies for the key industrial processes allowing the telecommunications, energy generation, diseases detection and diagnosis, advanced manufacturing for many industries, etc. The United Nations declaration of the International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies 2015 highlighted this worldwide importance of optics and photonics.
In recent years, some of the main economies in the world, like the US, the UK, Germany and Canada, have recognized optics and photonics as key enabling technologies for their future development. This recognition has fostered the design of national and regional mechanisms devoted to the sustainable exploitation of optics and photonics, such as the National Photonics Initiative of the United States of America, the European Technological Platform Photonics21 of the European Union, and the Photonics Leadership Group of the United Kingdom, among others.
In Mexico, the vicepresidency appointed by the Red Iberoamericana de Óptica to the International Commission for Optics, through the Mexico Territorial Committee for Optics – represented by the Academia Mexicana de Óptica – together with ProMéxico, the Mexico’s government agency devoted to promoting the country all around the world for foreign investment, started a joint col- laboration in 2014 that lead to the Iniciativa Mexicana de Fotónica (Mexican Photonics Initiative – MPI), the mechanism allowing Mexico to establish synergies between industry, government, academia and society, in order to develop the optics- and photonics-based industries required by the country to retain its role as one of the most important economies of the world.
The MPI intends to position optics and photonics as priority technologies for Mexico, in a way that an innovation-oriented ecosystem can be created for industries such as telecommunications, energy, health and medicine, and advanced manufacturing. It is expected that this innovation-friendly ecosystem will be successful in attracting the young Mexican talent by involving it at early educational stages into these knowledge fields, to facilitate their latter natural insertion to the several productive activities: qualified manufacturing, technical specialized service supply, new products design, etc. This strategy looks for Mexico to advance in the near future in the global photonics market to reach an important role with innovative companies based in optics and photonics technologies, but with profound roots in a solid scientific base, in which the Mexican optics and photonics community will continue to supply highly qualified talent, as well as with the design and construction of cutting-edge scientific facilities essential for high-level-oriented research and the development of innovative products and services, like photonics certification centres, the Clúster Mexicano de Fotónica (Mexican Photonics Cluster), or the ultra-high power laser.
As the initial product of the MPI, currently a control group conformed by outstanding members of the Mexican optics and photonics community, works in the development of a first iteration Mexican Technology Roadmap for Photonics, which is expected to be ready later in 2016, presenting the starting scenario for the development of the Mexican optics- and photonics-based industries, and establishing the milestones that the country will pursue in the coming years to continue sustainable development of the four key industries: telecommunications, energy, health and medicine, and advanced manufacturing.
It is expected that after the launch of this first Mexican Technology Roadmap for Photonics, more stakeholders, industry leaders, government, academia and the Mexican society join the MPI and promote it in their various circles of influence. The end goal is that the results of the MPI translate into public policies on education, science, development technology, innovation, economy, health, poverty alleviation, equality gender, environmental care, etc.