“Baltic Photonics” 2022: Laser micromachining opportunities are increasing and the range of applications is expanding
On 21-23 September, experts in photonics technologies and representatives of the most advanced companies gathered in Vilnius for the fourth time for an international event. “Baltic Photonics” is an annual event that brings together experts and leaders in photonics technology to discuss technology developments, applications and challenges, as well as attracting cross-sectoral industries to discuss key issues and needs.
This year’s event consisted of 3 parts: a two-day conference, B2B events and company tours in Vilnius. The organisers are delighted that after a two-year break, the live event was again well attended with more than 20 presentations and representatives from the laser industry from Germany, France, Finland, Poland and Switzerland. The evening excursions also included visits to 8 companies specialising in the laser technology industry.
The event was organised by the “TOOLAS” cluster, the Innovation Agency’s project “Promotion and Development of Innovation Networking” (INOLINK), the Lithuanian cluster network “KlasterLT”, the Visoriai Information Technology Park (VITP), the Lithuanian Innovation Centre (LIC).
Laser micromachining – the technology of the future
This year’s Baltic Photonics Conference focuses on laser micromachining and its applications. Renata Norbutaitė-Jurienė, coordinator of the “TOOLAS” cluster, says that this topic was selected for a reason: “This is the area where the “TOOLAS” cluster community started, and whose specificities and common challenges led to the initiation of cooperation between companies”.
“Laser micromachining of materials is one of the fastest growing and emerging technologies for a wide range of industrial applications in chipmaking, surface structuring, electronics and medicine. As the activities of Lithuanian laser manufacturers and laser system integrators are rapidly expanding and laser micromachining is a very promising field of international relevance today, the theme of the event was chosen for a reason. We hope to establish new business contacts with participants from Germany, France, Scandinavia and other countries, expand cooperation with scientific institutions and stimulate further development of technologies,” says Tadas Lipinskas, CEO of Optogama. The Lithuanian company designs and commercialises laser sources and optical devices for material processing, machine vision, optical communication systems and scientific applications.
Guests are representatives of the world’s largest photonics companies
The event started with a welcome speech by Renata Norbutaitė-Jurienė, VITP Project Manager. She was pleased with the unwavering turnout of participants – this year’s “Baltic Photonics” 2022
Contact and Innovation Conference was attended by more than 30 representatives of Lithuanian and global companies and organisations from the photonics sector, including representatives of “Optogama”, “Optonas”, “Femtika”, “Light Conversion”, “Amplitude”, “Lumibird”, “Renishaw”, “Litilit” and others.
Representatives of companies and laser scientists, who gave presentations at the conference, highlighted the development of laser micromachining capabilities and applications. Gediminas Račiukaitis, President of the Lithuanian Laser Association, presented the possibilities of micromachining using ultrashort pulse lasers, Matas Plukys, representative of UAB Optogama, gave a presentation on fiber optic transmission devices for laser micromachining systems, and Gintas Jakubėnas, representative of UAB Optonas, spoke about optical coatings and their application.
“During the two-day conference, speakers also gave presentations on laser additive manufacturing, optical systems and the use of artificial intelligence in optronics, laser sensors, and the use of laser technologies in security and defence applications”,- R. Norbutaitė-Jurienė, a representative of the “TOOLAS” cluster, shared her successful networking experience.
A unique platform to expand the operational territory
The event included partner search sessions initiated by the Innovation Agency’s coordinated project “Promoting and Developing Innovation Networking (INOLINK)” and a number of activities to find points of contact with potential partners.
“Lithuanian clusters and companies active in photonics are showing excellent results. Lithuanian photonics companies in clusters are a good example of what synergies can do. They are competitive in the global market but still have a lot of potential which needs to be tapped into new international value chains. “The Baltic Photonics” 2022 event is a unique platform for the development of international cooperation, as foreign companies not only have the opportunity to hear about the achievements of their potential partners, but also to get a closer look at where and what they are doing. As the international network of partners grows, so do the opportunities for the sector as a whole, creating high-impact innovations,” said Paulius Petrauskas, Director of the Innovation Agency’s Breakthrough Areas Department, emphasising the importance of international cooperation.
Formal and non-formal B2B partner search sessions at this year’s event included not only dialogue breaks during the main conference, but also evening meetings with laser technology leaders. The aim of these sessions is to foster cooperation between photonics companies in the Baltic region, contacts with potential foreign partners, as well as to provide an open platform to discuss products and projects under development, which often helps to find solutions to emerging challenges.
Event impact – development of international relations
R. Norbutaitė-Jurienė, coordinator of the “TOOLAS” cluster, says that the benefits of such events are undeniable, as they attract new potential partners for our country’s companies every year. For example, this year’s conference marked the signing of an associate member agreement with photonics giant “Lumibird”, thus establishing new international relations in the global laser community.
Sandro Schneider of Swiss start-up “Yalosys AG” said that critical processes in laser micromachining technology at “IN GLASS” were achieved with laser technology from Lithuania. He said that the technologies developed in Lithuania and “Yalosys” technology in “IN GLASS” will contribute to the future of patient welfare in society. The ability to assemble microchips on glass at the nano level could be useful not only for the production of medical implants for organ monitoring, but also for the development of the “Industrial Internet of Things”, and for the monitoring of civilian and public infrastructure objects.
“We are delighted that this conference is attracting not only well-known foreign partners, but also new businesses that want to get to know the Lithuanian photonics community. The long-standing and successful B2B format of the conference brings a lot of benefits to the conference participants”, – R. Norbutaitė-Jurienė, representative of the “TOOLAS” cluster, emphasised the importance of the event for the photonics sector.
The partner search session at “Baltic Photonics” 2022 was organised by the project “Promotion and Development of Innovation Networking (INOLINK)”. It promotes clustering of companies, increases the maturity of clusters, contributes to their growth and development of international cooperation. The project is implemented by the Innovation Agency (IA). The project partner is the Lithuanian Innovation Centre (LIC). The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund.