About Photonics NL

PhotonicsNL is the unique portal for the Photonics community in the Netherlands. Photonics is worldwide being recognized as a key enabling technology for the 21st century and especially in Europe by the European Commission and in the Netherlands by the Topsector High Tech Systems and Materials (HTSM).

Our history

Dutch Physics Society

The history of Photonics in the Netherlands goes back to the Dutch Society for Photonics (NVvF) in 1956. In the earlier days of NVvF the association was completely focussed on Photography and Chemistry. Important partners were the Dutch Physics Society and the Royal Netherlands Chemical Society. In the sixties the focus was more and more on Optics & Photonics. In 2006 NVvF decided to merge into the new foundation Photonics Cluster Netherlands (PCN) with the ambition to become the unique Dutch platform for Photonics.

Royal Dutch Chemist Society​

In this period PCN was quite successful in fulfilling this ambition with 120 individual members and 21 company members as a result. One of the main activities of PCN was the organization of our national annual Photonics Event together with our partner Mikrocentrum and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO).

Photonics Cluster Netherlands​

During the last eight years PCN has had a close collaboration with the IOP Photonic Devices Advisory Board. The IOP Photonics Devices (IOP-PD) is the national research program on Photonics. This program started in 2006 and has ended in 2015. Thanks to this close collaboration we succeeded in having Photonics recognized as Key Enabling Technology in the Dutch Topsectors, especially the topsector High Tech Systems & Materials.


After reaching her ambition the next logical step for PCN was to become a new association under the name PhotonicsNL. The new assocation PhotonicsNL was founded on 14th October 2013. In January 2015 PCN has transferred all her present activities to PhotonicsNL. Since then PhotonicsNL aims to grow steadily each year.