Hands-on training in Nonimaging Optics for SME’s: the SMETHODS experience
A 5-day training in Nonimaging Optics for European SME’s employees was carried out in June 2012 in the framework of the FP7 funded Support Action "SMETHODS". The training combined theoretical introduction and hands-on practice. The experience was very positive, and the lessons learned will improve the next scheduled sessions. Introduction The FP7 funded Support Action "SMETHODS"  is an initiative of seven European academic institutions to strengthen Europe's optics and photonics industry, which has started on 1 September 2011. Participation in training sessions is free for participants, who are selected with priority will be given to employees of small and medium sized European enterprises (SMEs). The consortium in SMETHODS is formed by seven partners that are the most prominent academic institutions in optical design in their countries. Through fully integrated collaborative training sessions, the consortium provides professional assistance as well as hands-on training in a variety of design tasks in four domains: (1) imaging optics, (2) nonimaging optics, (3) wave optics, and (4) diffractive optics. For each of this domains domain, 5-day training sessions are scheduled to be hold in different locations throughout Europe, four times in two years, the teach four times in a 2.5 years period.