This SPIE conference, combining presentations, lectures, workshops, seminars and exhibitions, proved to be a valuable source for networking and inspiration.

This year the event took place in Brussels on 3-7 April, and in spite of recent events, was well attended.  It again provided a dynamic learning environment for the scientific world providing valuable means to bridge the gap between academia and industry, and to serve as a platform for information updates on funding options. In this respect, H2020 and previous Work Programmes proved to be relevant actions. This year 152 papers, which mention EU-funded projects, were presented at the conference.

Among the several Industry Events/workshops organized, perhaps the most visionary, and well attended, was Caeleste on 'future high-end image sensors', as well as their design tools, testing and manufacturing technologies. Apparently, while CCD sensors have drastically revolutionized the word of imaging, the new CMOS will be the obvious future choice for volume consumer applications not only for the era of self-navigating and self-deciding vehicles and cars or IoT, but also for medical X-ray imaging, ground-based astronomy and space applications.

The session organized on Wednesday saw the opening remarks of Ronan Burgess, acting Head of Unit of the EC Photonics Unit, illustrating the current and future prospective of the sector, and the selected focus areas of Photonics within the Digitizing European Industry scenario, together with Michael Liehr CEO of the recently born American Institute for Manufacturing Photonics.

The 7th edition of the Photonics Innovation Village, organised by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel awarded a number of prizes.  This is meant for innovative researchers to showcase their latest research to industry innovators and other photonics visionaries. The "Photonic Jet Station" won the first award, and 1500 euros, in the "single institution" category, followed by EasyTIRf. The EC funded Minerva project got the 500 euro runner-up prize in the "multilater project" category, which was won by ZEROPTICA, receiving the first prize and 1500 euros.

Fastree was selected to participate in the Spie StartUp challenge at Photonics West, moreover receiving a SPIE sponsorship of $2000 travel grant.