5 January 2004 Paris Lightwave--In late December, five European companies founded the European Photonics Industry Consortium (EPIC). Developed by the OPTIMIST coordinating program of the IST-5th framework research program of the European Commission, the goal of EPIC is to build sustainable growth for European optoelectronics industries by bringing together the three important sectors of the photonics industry: Manufacturers of fabrication equipment, components manufacturers and users of photonics components and systems. The founding companies include AIXTRON AG, Cambridge Display Technology Ltd, OSRAM Opto-Semiconductors GmbH, Philips Lighting BV, and SAGEM SA.
EPIC will develop and maintain the technology roadmap for photonics technologies that are critical for the development of European industries. This roadmap will be a basis for its discussions with European Commission in order to design research and development program that respond to the needs of European companies.
Dr. Bernd Schulte, president of the newly formed association, announced that "EPIC is seeking 75 to 100 members from companies and institutions that are highly committed to the success of photonics products that are conceived in Europe, and sold all over the world." EPIC is owned and operated by its members who determine the actions and the initiatives of the association.
Membership is open to companies, research institutions, universities, and financial institutions that have operations in the European economic area, including the countries of the European Community, the candidate countries, as well as all non-member European states.