Photonics industry thrilled by Laser 2023

03.07.2023 - Review Laser World of Photonics, 27 – 30 June 2023: A great atmosphere in full halls, lively discussions and a very international audience.

The global photonics industry met in Munich again. More than 1,300 exhibitors, of which 66 percent came from outside of Germany, presented their innovations to the roughly 40,000 visitors at the world’s leading trade fair of the industry. The share of these visitors from outside of Germany was nearly 55 percent. World of Quantum once again met with a very positive response. The international scientific elite, including Nobel Prize winner Prof Donna Strickland, came together for six days at the World of Photonics Congress, which took place in parallel.

“Laser World of Photonics 2023 was a tremendous success,” said Dr Reinhard Pfeiffer and Stefan Rummel, both CEOs of Messe München. “As befits the anniversary – Laser turned 50 this year – the event once again has impressively demonstrated its status as the world’s leading trade fair for photonics with a new record number of visitors. What’s more, according to the trade fair survey, our exhibitors and visitors have been more satisfied this year than ever before. Thanks to the successful combination with the parallel events World of Photonics Congress, World of Quantum and Automatica, Munich once again strengthens its position as a leading technology location.”

“Laser is finally back to the size and format where it was left before the pandemic”, said Dr Wilhelm Kaenders, chairman of the exhibitor advisory board and CEO of Toptica Photonics. “New technical approaches and start-ups are competing with more established industries for the attention in a very lively marketplace. We all love and missed this atmosphere for too long.” Exhibition director Anke Odouli confirmed the positive feedback of the participating companies: “The mood in the halls was incredible – the exhibitors were thrilled by the quality of the visitors and the intensive discussions at their trade fair booths.”

The success of the trade fair reflects the ongoing upward trend of the photonics industry. According to estimates from the industry association Spectaris, the global photonics market will grow six percent a year until 2025, while the market for photonic core components like LEDs, lasers and sensors will increase by as much as ten percent. Spectaris CEO Jörg Mayer explained: “In the past, the photonics industry has shown over and over that it is significantly more resilient than other industries thanks to its varied areas of application. Even as a driving force behind future technologies, photonics will contribute significantly to solving business challenges.”

For the first time, Automatica, the leading trade fair for robotics and automation, took place in parallel. The goal to make use of the numerous overlaps between the sectors paid off: Every third visitor to Automatica also came to Laser World of Photonics or World of Quantum. Dr Sven Breitung, CEO of the VDMA working group laser and laser systems for materials processing, likewise welcomed holding the events in parallel: “It is very important to us to bring together suppliers and users of laser technology as well as players from automation and robotics. From now on, the co-location offers the perfect opportunity to create new inspiration and added value between the two industries and therefore work together toward innovative solutions.”

Meeting place for the international quantum community

Following its premiere in 2022, a strong second edition of World of Quantum took place with nearly ninety exhibitors and over 15,000 trade visitors in parallel with Laser World of Photonics. “We are very pleased that the platform has seen such excellent visitor numbers and received top marks in the trade fair survey,” said Odouli. Points of attraction included several quantum computers and a magnetic field sensor which will control prostheses via muscle signals in the near future. “The World of Quantum is becoming the most important trade fair for all players from the field of quantum computing,” said Dr Robert Axmann, head of the Quantum Computing Initiative from the German Aerospace Canter (DLR). “That’s why we’re delighted to be creating a place where research, industry and suppliers can come together to advance the ecosystem of quantum computing with our presence at the trade fair.”

After four years, the international scientific elite were at last able to exchange in person again at Europe’s largest photonics congress. These included big names such as Nobel Prize winner Prof Donna Strickland, Herbert Walther Award winner Prof Rainer Blatt and Prof Constantin Häfner, who, together with Tammy Ma, gave a lecture on laser-based nuclear fusion. Many of the presentations were filled to capacity. Prof Häfner, head of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT, emphasizes the significance of the event: “The congress drives innovation in photonics and creates important inspiration for the future. At the same time, it is becoming a groundbreaking event with its exchanges, presentations, networking and promotion of young scientific talent.” For six days, in five specialist conferences with a total of around 3,600 scientific presentations and poster sessions, the congress addressed all aspects of photonics, from basic research to application-oriented development.

More than 1,300 exhibitors traveled from forty countries and regions, around 66 percent of them were from outside of Germany. About 40,000 visitors from around seventy countries and regions attended the trade fair. The share of international visitors totaled about 55 percent. After Germany, the top 10 visitor countries were (in this order): Great Britain and Northern Ireland, France, Italy, Switzerland, USA, Japan, China, Austria, Spain and South Korea.

The next Laser World of Photonics and World of Quantum will take place together with Automatica from June 24 to 27, 2025, in Munich. The next World of Photonics Congress runs parallelly from June 22 to 27, 2025.

Further reading: Wilhelm Kaenders: ‘Laser Munich’, the photon, and its industry – A time of review and foresight, PhotonicsViews 20(3), June/July 2023, p. 1 • “‘The Laser’ turns 50 – The world’s leading trade fair and congress has brought together the international photonics industry for five decades”, interview with Anke Odouli, Messe Muenchen, PhotonicsViews 20(2), April/May 2023, pp. 34–35


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