The Photonics Industry is Faring Well so Far in 2017
Optics and photonics companies are off to a good start this year, performing nearly 14% better in Q1 2017 than the same quarter in 2016, according to data collected by OSA Industry Development Associates (OIDA). The first quarter actually performed below the previous quarter (Q4 2016), an expected result of seasonal behavior in the optics and photonics industry, but the seasonal decline was less than average.
|Source: OIDA (2017).
OIDA compared the performance of companies headquartered in North America, Europe, and Asia to the performance of the overall industry. The North American companies fared better in recent years than the global indicator (see figure), attributable to two key factors. First, the global value includes many Asia-based companies that are subject to fluctuating prices in volume products, such as displays and LEDs. Companies in North America and Europe are more diversified across lower volume, higher precision applications. Second, some of the decline in the global value is from the conversion from the native currency to U.S. dollars for the purpose of this comparison, which has the effect of discounting results in other currencies when the U.S. dollar gained in value. It also deflates the results of U.S. companies that collect revenues in foreign currencies.
These results should not be surprising to OIDA's member companies, who report relatively good business in recent years. Well-positioned companies with revenues exclusively in U.S. dollars can expect even stronger results than shown here.
For more market data, see the OIDA Market Updates.
The Mysterious and Emerging Quantum Communication Market
Quantum key distribution (QKD) is often viewed as the ultimate way to safeguard communication, by revealing if an eavesdropper has wiretapped a link. What makes it the ultimate in security, however, also makes it challenging to design and operate. We report here on two recent events addressing the future of this technology and its potential markets.
|Public-key cryptography. Source: Wikimedia Commons.
Customers are mainly "kicking the tires" at this point to test the technology, while engineers are working toward more practical and longer reach systems. Commercial systems operate today to 100-km, with lab demonstrations to 300-km, as panelists reported at an OFC 2017 session on global quantum communication programs. China has the most ambitious demonstrations, with a proposed 2,000-km domestic network comprising many individual links joined at dozens of trusted nodes, and the QUESS earth-to-satellite-to-earth quantum communication network, both under construction.
Important to commercialization will be an imperative need. The OFC session illustrated one need driven by quantum information itself. Current computers struggle with classical "complexity-based" encryption of sufficient key length, but algorithms running on quantum computers of the future would readily break such keys. There is a strong interest in quantum computers for codebreaking, but such quantum computers are far from realization. Quantum key distribution would be a safeguard against this codebreaking threat.
Detecting an eavesdropper to the physical link is just one aspect of information security, though. Insider leaks, outsider hacks, viral attacks, and weather remain the strongest threats to information security, and encryption cannot protect against these other threats. Moreover, classic encryption is robust for most encryption applications, while there is talk of "post-quantum" encryption—finding new cryptographic algorithms that are secure against even quantum computing.
Also important to commercialization is a compact and practical solution. NSF is funding a 4-year quest to engineer a quantum communication system on a chip, operating at room temperature over fiber optics, through a program called Advancing Communication and Quantum Information Research in Engineering (ACQUIRE). OIDA hosted a review of NSF's program on 14 May, collocated at CLEO 2017, where attendees shared research progress across continents and identified technology gaps—such as quantum repeaters and quantum memory—that need to be addressed. OIDA will host the next ACQUIRE review in late 2018.
OSA Launches Innovation School Boot camp for Photonics Professionals 23-27 July
Successful companies hone and harness the entrepreneurial/intrapreneurial spirit within their employees and leverage it for greater success. This year, the OSA Foundation is launching The Innovation School from 23-27 July in Washington DC, USA. During this 4-day bootcamp, you will learn the key methodologies for discovering, developing and launching innovative solutions and products; have opportunities to meet and collaborate with peers; and gain invaluable experience working directly with mentors from industry. This hands-on program is perfect for professionals seeking to participate in the innovation economy — as an innovator in their company.
Location: The Optical Society Headquarters, 2010 Massachusetts Avenue, NW Washington, DC, USA
Registration: $1,500 USD (not including travel and housing)
For more information or to register, please visit osa.org/innovation
Seats Limited: Register Today
Advocacy Update: Marches, Visits, and Letters
It's been a busy year so far for our advocacy team. Here are the highlights since the last newsletter update.
- President Trump’s FY2018 budget (23 May). The president released his FY2018 full budget proposal, with proposed cuts to funding for NSF, NIST, NIH, and the Department of Energy. See here for more details. This proposed budget now goes to Congress. (Congress passed legislation on 5 May to fund the government through the remainder of FY2017.)
- March for Science (22 April). OSA was an early partner in the March for Science and we featured an open house that welcomed optics and photonics visitors to Washington DC throughout the day. The Optical Society used this as an opportunity to encourage attendees to write to their members of Congress about the importance of R&D funding through the OSA Take Action Center. The March was held in 610 locations worldwide, drawing hundreds of thousands of supporters.
- Annual Congressional Visits Day (CVD) (26 April). This year OSA and its NPI partner organizers hosted 40 supporters from our community to participate in over 70 visits with congressional members and staff in Washington DC. This is an important event in any year, while this year is more uncertain than usual for science policy. We strongly encourage OIDA members in the U.S. to host a visit by their local congressperson at your business or make a Hill visit in Washington. OSA staff welcome the opportunity to work with your company to make these connections.
- Fiber Optic Sensing Association (FOSA) launched (24 April). Twelve companies have formed a trade association to advocate for the fiber optic sensing business. FOSA officially launched on 24 April and held its first meeting on 17 May. OIDA is working with FOSA toward our shared goals.
- OSA launches IPAC and workshop. In March, OSA launched its International Photonics Advocacy Coalition (IPAC) to advocate for optics and photonics across borders. The first effort is centered on technologies for environmental monitoring. The Optical Society hosted a meeting of invited stakeholders in this topic, held in Brussels on 28 March.
- Letter responding to the May visa proposal (18 May). OSA joined 55 scientific societies to submit comments to a proposal for changes to U.S. visa requirements that was posted 4 May for comment by 18 May. See the letter here. The letter followed two other letters submitted earlier this year.
- CLEO 2017 Market Focus session (17 May). The Optical Society organized a session on the exhibit floor at CLEO 2017 featuring OSA's current government relations activities, and perspectives on science policy in Brussels and Washington DC from consultants with Interel and Podesta Group, respectively. These firms specialize in government relations; Interel is contracted by OSA, while Podesta is contracted by both OSA and SPIE on behalf of the National Photonics Initiative.
|Laura Kolton, OSA Government Relations Director, at CLEO Market Focus
Stay tuned for more! For more information on developments relevant to optics and photonics, see the OSA Washington Updates page. For more information on OSA advocacy efforts, or to arrange a site visit of a U.S. congressperson to your company facilities, contact Laura Kolton, OSA senior director of government relations.
- Letter supporting ARPA-E funding (24 April). OSA joined 120 organizations to support FY2018 funding for ARPA-E, the U.S. Department of Energy agency. See the letter here. President Trump's FY2018 Budget Blueprint proposes eliminating ARPA-E.
- Letter supporting investments in R&D (6 April). OSA joined over 280 organizations on a letter to U.S. House and Senate Appropriations Committees urging robust investments in R&D. See the letter here.
- Letter supporting NSF funding (3 April). OSA signed onto the Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF) letter to Congress supporting funding for NSF. OSA is a member of CNSF, and 175 organizations signed the letter. See the letter here.
Welcome New OSA Industry Development Associates (OIDA) Members
A Unique Opportunity to Reach Laser Industry Leaders in Japan
This year's annual OSA Laser Congress will take place 2 - 5 October at the Convention Center Nagoya, Nagoya, Aichi, Japan. Japan is home to many key players in this dynamic and changing industry, and attendees from around the globe will be gathering to find the latest solutions for their businesses.
Secure your space today before the "sold out" sign goes up. The exhibitor prospectus is available here. Special discounts are available to OSA Industry Development Associates (OIDA) member companies. Act now while space is still available at the exhibition that covers these two premier meetings:
Space is limited. Act now and take advantage of your OIDA member discount.
- Advanced Solid State Lasers Conference (ASSL) is THE international event covering all aspects of solid state laser system design and implementation.
- Laser Applications Conference (LAC) focuses on materials processing and high intensity lasers for applications.
OIDA Funding Accelerator Speed Meetings: SBIR/STTR at 2017 FiO
You are invited to participate in the OIDA Funding Accelerator Speed Meetings: SBIR/STTR focusing on optics and photonics funding, which will be co-located with FiO in Washington, DC on 18 September 2017. This event will give U.S. companies with less than 500 employees an opportunity to meet one-on-one with program officers from multiple U.S. federal agencies, all in one place, in one day — minimizing your time investment and increasing your chances for new government funding.
This OIDA event will give you an insider perspective on what agencies are looking to fund; as well as provide you with up-to-date information on each agency's SBIR/STTR funding process, and how you can enhance your probability of success. In addition, the event will help government agencies better understand what OSA Industry Development Associates (OIDA) Members can offer and how optics and photonics technologies can help them meet their goals. For more information and to secure your company's reservation, please e-mail OSA Director of Industry Membership, Andrew Dougherty at email@example.com.
Engineering & Lab Notes from Applied Optics Offer Tips, Techniques, and Best Practices
Engineering and Laboratory Notes (E&L Notes), from Applied Optics, highlight laboratory techniques and hands-on skills technicians and specialists can utilize for the design, analysis, fabrication, integration, alignment, and measurement of optical components and systems. E&L Notes Editor Brian Monacelli sums up the initiative here.
Applied Optics recently published these E&L Notes:
View all of the published E&L Notes here.
SHARE YOUR SKILLS: Applied Optics continues to seek E&L Notes to publish. Submit yours today.
Award Call for Nominations — July & August Deadlines
OSA awards and medals recognize the field's technical, research, education, business, leadership and service accomplishments. Take advantage of this great opportunity to honor your colleague's achievements.
Paul F. Forman Team Engineering Excellence Award
Recognizes team technical achievements in optical engineering. Nominations are due 2 July.
NEW - OSA Treasurer's Award
Presented to an OSA staff member who makes significant contributions to organizational excellence, promotes and enacts innovative solutions or exemplifies inspirational leadership. Nominations are due 10 August.
John Tyndall Award
Recognizes contributions to fiber optic technology (co-sponsored with the IEEE/Photonics Society). Nominations are due to IEEE/Photonics Society by 10 August.
Want to get even more insight and access to great discussions about optics and photonics?
Join 3,200+ of your colleagues in our Optics & Photonics Industry Network LinkedIn Group. This one-of-a-kind Forum for Industry lets you participate in discussions about cutting-edge issues. Extend your professional network. Exchange information about problems, ideas and solutions. Collaborate with experts in your field. Now is the perfect time to build a relationship with fellow optics and photonics professionals!
Take advantage of your OSA Industry Development Associates (OIDA) Member Benefits
We are committed to ensuring the value of your OSA Industry Development Associates Membership, so please email OSA if you have any suggestions for new programs or comments on your membership.
Not yet an OIDA member? Learn more about the benefits of membership.
|OSA Industry Development Associates (OIDA) Committee
Thank you to the volunteers who oversee the programs and services available to the Industry Community.
| • Alex Fong,
Gooch & Housego, Chair
• Claudio Mazzali,
Corning, Inc., Chair-Elect
• Henrik Skov
• Simin Cai,
|• John Dexheimer,
• Fred Leonberger,
• Mike Mielke,
• Martin Seifert
| • Costel Subran,
• Christoph Harder,
Harder and Partner