On the 23rd – 24th May, 2019 the Conference and matchmaking event “Photonics for Health” was held at the National Center for Physical Sciences and Technology.
During the Conference, the representatives of the photonics and medical science discussed with businessmen the possibilities for realization of new ideas, cooperation, integration, application and development of innovative technologies.
On the first day of the event Prof. Habil. Dr. Gintaras Valušis, the Director of the Center for Physical Sciences and Technology (FTMC), in his welcome speech for the participants of the event highlighted the importance of the interaction between science and medicine:
“This event is not only important in terms of directly linking to very specific applications which can employ the whole our photonics potential in both science and business. The essential thing is that medicine can unite our multidisciplinary science in order to achieve a common meaningful purpose. The versatility of the topics and variety of technological experience should be considered as a big advantage. Because this is exactly what is required for highly effective synergies and what will possibly lead to new breakthroughs.”
Julius Paužuolis, the Head of Laser and Engineering Technology Cluster (LITEK), initiator and organizer of the conference, emphasized that the laser sector is growing drastically. Innovations in the field of photonics are focused on disease surveillance, early diagnosis, inasmuch as the collaboration of scientists and doctors can help people avoid diseases, provide complete, sustainable treatment. Events like “Photonics for Health” help photonics innovators "communicate" with the target audience - medical professionals in order to better understand their needs, find the most appropriate solutions and the most effective ways for commercializing of the products.
During the two-day Conference the presentations on relevant topics were made.
What is the importance of optical research in the perspective of cancer treatment and in relation to nanotechnology? This topical field of research and its perspectives were presented by Professor of the National Cancer Institute Prof. Habil. Dr. Richard Rotomskis. The topic of his presentation was "Biophonics in medicine: scientific achievements and potential applications". The professor emphasized the need for joint work of medical professionals and scientifical experts in the application and development of laser technologies in oncology: diagnostics, therapeutic treatment and prophylaxis.
The Head of the Department of Physical Technologies of FTMC Prof. Dr. Arūnas Šetkus presented the report “Experience in the Development of Biomedical Systems”. In his opinion, such events help bring to life scientific ideas, encourage social and scientific communication and understanding of the needs of business.
“The goal of FTMC is to create functional devices based on photonic elements: lasers, detectors, transmission systems, analysis, conversion, and so on. We are trying to create such devices specifically for oncology, so the connection with medical professionals is important because we are in touch with the end-user. Science is not just a matter of personal curiosity, but it is also a high-risk business. So that researchers will be able to create prototypes and products successful on the market, the customer must clearly define the desired characteristics of the target product. This conference is a perfect opportunity to find the right partner, as well as to find specific applications of our innovative works, knowledge, technology and devices. It is important that such events take place at FTMC - the most important center for the development and application of the innovative technologies in physics not only in Lithuania, but also in Europe.”
FTMC Innovation Manager Karolis Stašys, in his report "FTMC - Between Science and Business" presented the goals, opportunities and activities of the Centre. He emphasized the importance of FTMC as a key coordinator between innovation creators, technology developers, business representatives and end-users at the national and international levels. K. Stašys presented the technologies and products created and developed at FTMC, as well as prospects for future collaboration. He emphasized that FTMC, due to the international relations and scientific expertise in various fields, acts as a link between science and business:
“FTMC is known worldwide as a leader in the fields of terahertz physics, electroless coating plating and photonics. Unlike other science institutions in Lithuania, our Center can produce products from fundamental science. We have a great leadership potential to push forward academic research and the Lithuanian high-tech industry due to FTMC research facilities and experience. It is a place where many professionals from different fields can meet. It is necessary to use these advantages. Business must know that high value-added products which need powerful R&D (research and experimental development) resources can be created here.”
The report "Application of Therahertz Waves in Medicine" was presented by Dr. Irmantas Kašalynas, the researcher of the Department of Optoelectronics of FTMC. Until 2017 he and Dr. Faustino Wahaia, the representative of the University of Portugal, carried out an international project in Amsterdam, Portugal and Lithuania on the application of laser technologies for the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer. The project has been completed, but the scientists are continuing works in this area.
Dr. Faustino Wahaia, who collaborates with Lithuanian scientists, was happy to work for FTMC:
“Since 2008 I have been investigating the application of terahertz waves in oncology with the team of the Center and with the help of FTMC research facilities. It is a high-level science and technology center that builds your country's future. In my opinion, FTMC is an institution like no other in Europe".
Participants from, the Center for Innovative Medicine of the Santara Clinics, gave presentations on preclinical and clinical research of medical devices. Prof. Audrius Sveikata presented a report on the subtleties and pathways of market access for medical devices. Representatives of MITA, Invega presented the tools and opportunities to obtain funding from various state and EU funds for research, development and promotion of new innovations.
Activities were presented by promising Lithuanian photonics companies (Ekspla, Photosana, Femtika, Elas). The participants of the Conference took part in the round- table discussion.
At the end of the Conference, all participants were invited to visit the laboratories of the Department of Semiconductors of FTMC and the Laser and Engineering Technology Cluster.
LITEK, FTMC, MITA, LIC were among the Conference organizers.