50 years of Laser World of Photonics 1973-2023

The global photonics industry recently came together at LASER World of PHOTONICS from June 27-30, 2023, the 50th anniversary of the first edition of this trade show in 1973.

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.

Looking back to LASER 73, the very first edition of today’s leading international trade fair for photonics components, systems and applications, around 100 exhibitors came to Munich. They were pioneers of a future industry that is only just emerging. This was a mere 13 years after US researchers had been able to create the first ever laser beam. Nevertheless, Gerd vom Hoevel, Managing Director of Messe München at the time, was so impressed by the potential of this innovative technology that he launched the world’s first trade fair for lasers. Today we know just how right he was with this visionary idea. Photonics, which was in its infancy back then, has delivered on its promise to the future. It is a key technology for digitalisation and the communicative networking of our modern world; it is revolutionising medical research and practice; it enables precise insights into the worlds of nano and micro, as well as into the depths of our universe; and, in industrial manufacturing, it is constantly paving the way to even more efficiency, flexibility, precision, brilliance and sustainability. In short: The innovative potential of light as a tool that Gerd vom Hoevel recognized at the start of the 70s will last for at least another 50 years. Especially since a photonics-based future market is forming again with quantum technology. And because a good story is worth repeating, Messe München has already created an ideal platform for this key technology of the future with the World of QUANTUM.