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The DGAO is the German Branch of the European Optical Society.

The EOS was founded on 24 May 1991. The purpose of the society is to contribute to progress in optics and related sciences, and to promote their applications at the European and international levels, by bringing together individuals and legal entities involved in these disciplines and their applications. The European Optical Society (EOS) serves as the joint forum for all individuals, companies, organisations, educational institutions, and learned and professional societies, who recognize the opportunity and challenge that a common European base provides for the development of optics in its broadest sense.