Strong investment in photonics will help us fight infectious diseases that kill an unimaginable number of people and prepare us against future pandemics.says Dr Jürgen Popp of the Leibniz Center for Photonics in Infection Research (LPI) that is currently under construction in Jena.
- Light offers promising new solutions to tackle infectious diseases that kill millions of people every year
- Urgent action needed from EU and governments to invest in photonics technologies
- South Korea invests €8 Billion per year, China €1 billion – whereas entire EU investment is €100 million p.a.
- A proper investment will prepare us for next pandemic
By harnessing photonics – technologies that are based on light – we are producing solutions in fields as varied as next-generation farming, the environment, transport, industry and healthcare.
Light technologies are recognised as revolutionary and beneficial to a number of sectors: driverless cars, 5G and Green technologies are all made possible by the generation, detection, manipulation, emission, transmission, modulation, processing, switching, amplification, and sensing of light.
The threat of infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance is just one case to illustrate that now is the time to commit to strong investment in photonics.
Declared by the World Health Organisation as one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity, Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) poses a serious threat to humanity. Antimicrobials – which include antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals and antiparasitics – are medicines used to prevent and treat infections and infectious diseases.
AMR occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death. Currently, the WHO estimates 10 million people could die from antimicrobial-resistant (AMR) infections globally by 2050 if the prescription or treatment situation does not change fundamentally.