News –Conference proceedings of the 3rd International Conference FOTONIKA-LV “Achievements and Future Prospects” have been published. The proceedings can be downloaded here.  For more information see the News

Riga Photonics Centre (RFC) is an association registered on 2 October 2015 which was granted the status of a not-for-profit charitable organization under the laws of Latvia on 05 June 2017. RFC members include research organizations, educational institutions, government functions and individuals involved with photonics in Latvia and more broadly the Baltic Sea Region.   Photonics can be defined as the study and practice of controlling photons to meet human needs.  Photons are quanta of light.   As such photonics is involved in all devices that use light across the full spectrum including optical devices, lasers, fiber optics, spectroscopy, telescopes, microscopes and numerous other technologies and devices.   Photonics is involved in research as well as in manufacturing as well as in everyday devices such as mobile telephones.   Photonics frames fields such as quantum sciences, space sciences and related technologies and is an important component of research conducted in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia comprising approximately 45% of research output in peer reviewed journals from the three Baltic Sea states.

Latvia photonics and smart specialization

In 2017  the manufacturers in the photonics cluster had a turnover of €167 million. At 18% growth by 2020 turnover could be €254 million and by 2025 could be over €500 million.

Photonics research in Latvia is highly fragmented among multiple research organizations with no strategic direction or coordination. As a result, despite impressive capabilities the economic impact of the research is modest compared to what it could be.

Latvia Smart specialization themes Role of photonics
Smart Energy Photonics based sensors, photovoltaic systems, optical fibers are key elements of smart energy systems
Advanced ICT Optical computers, quantum computers, optical data storage, fiber optic-based data communications play a major role in advanced ICT
Knowledge intensive bio- economy Advances are dependent on photonics devices and technologies including biosensors, satellite remote sensing, GPS signals for smart farming, and numerous other applications of photonics
Biomedicine. medical technologies and biotechnology Biophotonics is becoming increasingly important in endoscopy and other medical applications, photonics based biosensors are   critical in numerous application in biotechnology.
Smart materials, technology and engineering Latvia excels in the production of satellite laser ranging equipment, laser devices, novel lighting systems, astronomical equipment and other photonics devices.

The photonics cluster of Latvia consists of academic research organizations in four universities (University of Latvia, Riga Technical University, Daugavpils University, and Ventspils University College). Additionally, there is the Research Centre for Electronics and Optical Instrument Manufacturing (LEO), a “competence centre” that supports applied research on behalf of SMEs in the cluster some of which is executed through the academic research organizations. The Riga Photonics Centre has been formed to coordinate the photonics cluster.

Historical development

Riga Photonics Centre has been formed as a not-for-profit association to continue the public outreach and cluster services that were part of the FOTONIKA-LV Regpot 2011 Framework 7 project.   During the course of the Project nearly 100 colloquiums were conducted on various scientific and technical subjects, a series of seminars were conducted on intellectual property management and protection for SMEs and for researchers.   Additionally in depth training seminar was held in the TRIZ innovation acceleration methodology.   More about the results of the FOTONIKA-LV project can be found at https://fotonikalv.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/nsc-fotonika-capabilities-2015-07-16-final.docx

A poster summarizing FOTONIKA-LV progress can be downloaded by clicking here.Poster for exhibit-size-5

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