Solid-state lighting, SSL – also called LED – is a very energy efficient and cheap form of lighting.
Lighting is undergoing a global shift of technologies. From incandescent, compact fluorescent high pressure sodium and mercury lamp the world move towards LED applications.
LEDs are green and better performing, offering much higher efficacy. They can very effectively help Europe and national governments to meet their goals of reducing carbon emissions. Secondly the technology leap from a stand-alone heat-based technology into electronics, being a semiconductor. As semiconductor, lighting can be connected to software, sensors, ICT and electrical systems in many ways. This radical innovation offers so many new possibilities for customized solutions, personal adjustments and real-time accurate control. This perspective offers qualitative and quantitative improvements and gains within health sectors, industry and work environments, personal life quality and functional ability (elderly people) as well as increased aesthetic values and attributes, being deployed in product design (automotive, building) as well as urban planning and development. This creates a huge demand for new solutions and products, recognizing the fact, that lighting installations become intelligent (smart) and part of urban communication and control systems (connected).
Technology shift has called for initiatives among national governments as well as on European level to grasp the opportunity and the window of opportunity. To accelerate innovation and usage of new technologies to increase growth, strengthen competitiveness and create new workplaces in Europe.
The underlying technology and knowledge domain of lighting is photonics, which has been identified by the European commission as one of 6 KETS – Key Enabling Technologies. KETS are cross-cutting, strategic technology domains, essential to competitiveness of the European industry, not only within its own markets and sectors, but in a general and societal perspective and conceptualization.
Photonics are one of the keys to obtain the goals of growth and innovation in Europe, expressed in growth strategy HORIZON2020. Across the various program areas and DGs, research and innovation within Photonics will receive substantial funding in the period 2015-2020. The strategy of regional specialization, will add to the regional focus on growth areas with a potential.
This is the opening scenario of ELCA, European Lighting Cluster Alliance.
Cluster organizations, being independent or anchored in University centres, testing labs, networks or programs, has been formed to help regional industry, especially the SMEs to become more competitive. Cluster Initiatives promoting triple-helix based collaboration structures, public-private partnerships encompassing municipalities, universities and advanced technology centres.
The European Lighting Cluster Alliance, ELCA will gather forces on a European level in order to increase growth and help achieving the political targets of carbon emission reductions.
We will work for innovation, driven by research, industry, municipalities and their citizens and help acceleration of up-take of Best Available Technologies by taking initiatives on European level, demonstrating, experimenting, sharing knowledge and communicating.
We will raise the voice in Europe of the stakeholders and the enhanced value chain of the lighting sectors, with special regard to the SME’s in order to muster the most effective answer to the challenges that Europe faces.