2012-2014 RIAO Report addressed to the ICO. 30 Jun, 2014
The Red Iberoamericana de Óptica (Ibero-American Network on Optics), RIAO, is a relatively young, not-for-profit supranational optical network that has as its primary focus the strengthening of research and collaboration among researchers, teachers, students, and technicians working on optics, photonics, and related areas in the Ibero-American region. We certainly believe that the RIAO plays a very active role on promoting optics education and research in the Ibero-American area, thereby contributing also to the final mission of the ICO.
The network is then organized as a set of Ibero-American, territorial organizations on Optics. According to the RIAO Constitution and Bylaws, the RIAO is governed by its Council, which is composed by the President, the Secretary, and a representative from every country of the region. The designation of each national RIAO officer is responsibility of the national optical associations already integrated to the RIAO and is done according to the internal procedures stated by their respective communities. The current RIAO Council officers are Dr. Pedro Andrés, RIAO President, Dr. Efraín Solarte, RIAO Secretary, Dr. Luciano Ángel for Colombia, Dr. Juan G. Darias for Cuba, Dr. Andrés Márquez for Spain, Dr. Raúl Rangel for Mexico, Dr. Manuel F. Costa for Portugal, and Dr. José L. Paz for Venezuela.
In relation with this organization, two major events happened in 2013. First, last July 25, 2013 there was a change in the presidency of RIAO. Dr. Eric Rosas, ad hoc President of the RIAO since its inception in 2008, handed the responsibility to Dr. Pedro Andrés, which was elected in advance for the period 2013-2016 according to the RIAO by-laws. Dr. Andrés is full professor of Optics since 1994 at the University of Valencia, Spain. In his inaugural address at the RIAO General Assembly, Prof. Andrés emphasized that there are many potential benefits from a solid Ibero-American network, as the organization of supranational Workshops, Conferences and Summer schools, the exchange of teaching and research experiences, the broadening of Ibero-American networking, the promotion of friendly and effective collaboration among our whole community, and, maybe the most importantly, to have a single voice towards the rest of the worldwide optics.
From left to right, Prof. Pedro ANDRES, RIAO President, Prof. Manuel Filipe COSTA, SPOF President and General Chair of RIAO/Optilas 2013, and Prof. Eric ROSAS, RIAO Past-President, during the Conference Dinner at RIAO/Optilas 2013.
On the other hand, the VIII Reunión Iberoamericana de Óptica / XI Encuentro Latinoamericano de Óptica, Láseres y Aplicaciones, RIAO/Optilas 2013, was organized July 22 to 26, 2013, at the University of Porto in Portugal and chaired by Prof. Manuel F. Costa, at the time President of the Sociedade Portuguesa para a Investigação e Desenvolvimento em Óptica e Fotónica, SPOF. RIAO/Optilas is the classical and reference meeting of the Ibero-American Optics community and, by extension, of the RIAO. 441 participants from 39 countries from all over Ibero-America and the rest of the World attended the Conference. The success of the conference was only possible with the active support, endorsement, and commitment of several Ibero-American national societies and major optical institutions, together with the most important international scientific societies of Optics, including the ICO. The participation of many students and young researchers was very positive and a good sign of the potential growth of the Ibero-American Optics and Photonics research in the near future. It is also noteworthy that the 12th Education and Training in Optics and Photonics Conference, ETOP 2013, was successfully organized in parallel and in an articulated way with RIAO/Optilas 2013.
Some attendees at RIAO/Optilas 2013 in Porto, Portugal.
RIAO activities have increased significantly in recent years. Specifically, only in the past two years RIAO has endorsed and promoted several national meetings and conferences in the region, the 2012 and 2013 Mexican Optics and Photonics Meeting, MOPM 2012 and MOPM 2103, respectively, the XXV and XXVI Reunión Anual de Óptica (the Academia Mexicana de Óptica and the División de Óptica of the Sociedad Mexicana de Física joint meeting), RAO 2012 and RAO 2013, respectively, the XIII Encuentro Nacional de Óptica / IV Conferencia Andina y del Caribe en Óptica y sus Aplicaciones (Colombian National Meeting in Optics / Andean and Caribbean Conference in Optics and its Applications), ENO-CANCOA 2013, the X Reunión Nacional de Óptica (Spanish National Meeting in Optics), X RNO 2012, the II International Conference on Applications of Optics and Photonics, AOP 2014, in Aveiro, Portugal, inter alia, together with other international events held in the region as the 2012 First ICO/ICTP/TWAS Central American Workshop on Lasers, Laser Applications and Laser Safety Regulations, and the 2014 ICTP/ICO/MCTP College on Optics and Energy. RIAO will maintain this kind of actions in the next future expanding it to other Ibero-American territories. In addition, it is becoming more and more common that the benefits that have the members of a national society integrated in the RIAO (e.g., fee reduction, participation in regional prizes and awards, etc.) are extended to the individuals of the rest of affiliated societies.
We have placed special emphasis on the engagement of the whole Ibero-American region with RIAO. This action requires a constructive exchange of ideas and dialog with the existing regional optical societies or even the promotion of new ones in those countries without a specific scientific association. In this sense, we point out that positive advances have recently been made with Argentina and Chile and some exploratory or preliminary discussions have been held with representatives of Panama, Peru, Ecuador, and Brazil. The RIAO/Optilas 2016 in Chile is a step in this direction. By the way, the first meeting of the Organizing Committee of RIAO/Optilas 2016 was carried out in June 2014 at the University of Concepcion, Chile, with the participation of the RIAO President.
Prof. Pedro ANDRES, RIAO President, and Prof. Carlos SAAVEDRA, General Chair of the 2016 RIAO/Optilas Conference to be held in Chile just after the first meeting of the Organizing Committee at the University of Concepcion, Chile.