OIDA's 2016 List of "What's Hot and What's Not"
It's January again, time to bring out OIDA's unscientifically gathered list of what's hot, what's not, and what's just "meh."
- Hot—Integrated photonics, especially for 100G and 400G. Think of the new AIM Photonics Insititute, Europe's JePPIX, ePIXfab and LioniX; Japan's PETRA; and OIDA's workshops in November and coming up in March.
- Hot—Imaging. Self-driving cars, drones, robots, augmented and virtual reality, gesture recognition, medical imaging, night vision imaging, and the list goes on. OIDA has covered these technologies in the OIDA Market Update, as well as this EPIC-Tematys report published in 2015 and also available to OIDA members.
- Hot—Sensors, especially in biophotonics. This is really a thousand niches that add up to billions of dollars. Mid-infrared sensors, fiber sensors, atomic clocks, biometrics, breathalyzers, cytometry, and the list goes on and on. OIDA is exploring biophotonics in its town hall meeting series and just about every issue of the OIDA Market Update and the OIDA newsletter.
- Meh—European Commission support for photonics in Horizon 2020. The co-called Juncker investment plan was announced in late 2014 to stimulate the European economy, but it took money away from Horizon 2020 R&D funding, including for programs in photonics as one of the chosen Key Enabling Technologies. Photonics companies seeking funding were told in 2015 not to expect the cuts in funding to be restored, and if they want to grow funding it has to come from other categories within (and outside of) Horizon 2020. (Of course, there is also national funding of photonics among European member nations.) For more, see the OIDA June newsletter.
- Meh—Reform of U.S. export controls on photonics. The U.S. State and Commerce Departments are proposing rule changes affecting the export of certain photonics technologies. The agencies intended to streamline the regulatory process, but have created more burdensome regulations. It's unclear how it will all turn out, but OSA is working hard on this issue. (For example, see here, here, here, and the OIDA September newsletter.)
- Meh—Stronger U.S. dollar. This is good or bad, depending on where you sit. Generally good for suppliers exporting to the U.S., bad for suppliers exporting from the U.S. For companies doing both—such as importing materials and exporting finished goods—it's complicated.
- Meh—Asian photonics business. Asia dominates displays, solar modules, LEDs, and a lot of the assembly, but these sectors are also prone to large cycles. Actual results vary greatly from averages. Japan's nominal GDP has been flat for 20 years, and its domestic photonics production is slightly less than what it was a decade ago. It would be worse, but recent strong growth in solar modules has offset long-term declines in optical storage, digital cameras, and camcorders.
- Not—The rare earth metals crisis. Remember this? Much has changed since the U.S. hit the panic button a few years ago. OIDA provided an update in the OIDA July newsletter.
- Still not—3D printing and 3DTV. Not surprisingly, the world seems to be moving on from these fads. It's not that they don't deserve their niches, it's that they were overhyped. OIDA last reviewed the 3D printing market in the December 2013 OIDA Market Update.
OIDA's Early Outlook for 2016
OIDA's early estimate is that the global photonics market declined again in 2015 from the previous year, but the decline will be temporary. The market was bumpy for major sectors like displays and solar cells. It's understandable that the market must tread water for a while, with economic challenges reaching China and continuing in Europe and Japan, and low oil prices hurting oil producing states.
The U.S. dollar strengthened against several major currencies, and even against gold. Since OIDA's estimate is denominated in U.S. dollars, this means that values in foreign currencies are discounted when converted to dollars for our metric.
The strong dollar also impacts the sales of U.S. vendors. Products priced in dollars become less competitive compared to products priced in declining currencies. U.S. companies can remain competitive if they price in the local currencies, but then the revenues are discounted when converted to dollars, such as for covering expenses and reporting quarterly income.
The good news is that 2016 is almost certainly going to be a better year. The market declines are cyclic and will recover with the recovering global economy, and the dollar will stabilize. A return to 2013 levels would be 9% growth over 2015, with potential for longer term growth going forward. More information will appear in this month’s OIDA Market Update available to OIDA members.
U.S. Optics and Photonics Clusters: Formal and Otherwise
OIDA recently characterized the U.S. optics and photonics industry. We counted establishments with U.S. locations and employment, regardless where the company's headquarters or operations are. It amounts to about 3,300 companies and 385,000 jobs, including both components and the products that they enable. "Enabled" products include such things as cameras for machine vision, using the definition that OIDA has used for many years. Counting the downstream jobs would add far more firms and jobs.
We are often asked how employment is distributed by state or economic "cluster." OIDA found that almost 2/3 of the employment is concentrated in two regions: California and the Northeast corridor. California is itself more accurately two regions, North and South, each one significant on its own.
Northern California is home to the largest local cluster of optics and photonics in the U.S., but it lacks a formal organization aimed at promoting its photonics companies. Other states like Pennsylvania and New Jersey are also home to large clusters of employment without any formal organization.
The personalities of the various U.S. clusters vary widely, serving diverse roles in their respective localities. The Tucson-based Arizona Optics Industry Association was the first cluster of its kind in our industry, thanks to Bob Breault, our industry's cluster evangelist, whereas Arkansas, Michigan, and Montana are home to the most recent clusters.
Rochester, New York, has the distinction of having the oldest cluster of optics companies in the U.S., dating to the mid-1800s. The Rochester OSA section just turned 100 years old, and the local cluster organization, the Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster, was founded in 1998.
The most active clusters include the Colorado Photonics Industry Association, the Rochester cluster, and the Florida Photonics Cluster.
For questions on the OIDA study and the upcoming report, contact Tom Hausken.
OIDA's 1st Start-Up Series Event in Silicon Valley—A Resounding Success
OIDA is committed to fostering the development and commercialization of new optics and photonics technologies that will expand the industry's product pipeline. To accelerate productization we are bringing together start-up companies with top equity investors through our new Start-Up Series events.
For the pilot event, we partnered with Plug and Play, a business accelerator, who has helped the startup community raise over $3.5 billion in venture funding. A dedicated hour was secured at Plug and Play's IoT EXPO for optics and photonics start-ups to pitch and promote their products to their network of 300 tech startups, 180 investors and a community of leading Universities and Corporate partners. This all-day EXPO was held at the Plug and Play headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA on 10 December. 600 people registered for the event.
The program materialized through the year-long efforts of the OSA Industry Development Associates Start-Up Series Planning Committee which included John Dexheimer, Lightwave Advisors, Inc., Alex Fong, Gooch & Housego, Mike Mielke, TRUMPF, Inc.,and Jean-Michel Pelaprat, Figulus. We were fortunate to have Mike Mielke, TRUMPF, Inc. serve as the MC for OSA, and Waguih Ishak, Division Vice President & Director of Corning West Technology Center Science & Technology, as our keynote speaker. 27 start-ups applied to present, and all were reviewed and vetted by the planning committee members, Matthew B. Hemington, Partner at Cooley and Dennis Pape, Founder and Managing Director of AlphaLaunch to ensure all requirements were met. Of the 27, the group selected 5 start-ups to each give a 3-minute pitch at the Expo.
The five presenters were:
The pitches were rated by approximately 75 judges who are also investors. Double Helix was presented as the winner for the OSA hour of pitches.
- Double Helix: Leslie Kimerling, Co-Founder & CEO
- Exalinear: George Mihalakis, CEO
- Netra Systems: Manish D. Kulkarni, CEO
- New Ridge Technologies: Henry Yaffe, President
- TetraVue: Bodo Schmidt, Director of Engineering
Thanks to everyone who contributed to and participated in this first Start-Up Series event. OIDA is planning more of these events in the future.
Welcome New Industry Development Associates Member
Plan Your 2016 Strategy with Exclusive Industry Reports Available to OIDA Members
Industry leaders worldwide are planning their strategy for 2016 and beyond. A winning strategy is driven by intelligence. Have you downloaded our newest industry reports? All OSA Industry Development Associates members have free access to all reports. We encourage you to browse the Publication Library to see everything available to you. Recent reports include the 1st Annual European Commission Report on Key Enabling Technologies, a Market Update on optical communications, disposable optical biosensors and civilian and military surveillance imaging; a second Market Update on optical communications, early-stage companies and an EPIC-Tematys executive summary; and a report on photonics technologies for ADAS in the automotive industry.
Free Admission to Executive Forum at OFC
21 Mar 2016 at OFC in Anaheim, CA, USA
Did you know? Employees of OIDA member companies can register a colleague at no charge for OSA Executive Forum at OFC. OSA Executive Forum provides you with an exclusive opportunity to hear insider perspectives in an uncensored environment, while participating in high-level networking. The program is now available online.
Google Technical Infrastructure
See the Lineup of Industry Leaders Who Will be Speaking. Exclusive discounts—and free registration for a colleague—are available to OIDA members through 22 February. Join more than 150 senior-level executives as they convene to discuss key themes, opportunities, and challenges facing the next generation in optical networking and communications. Space is limited for this event. Register now.
Program Announced: 1-Day Immersion Workshop on Integrated Photonics High Volume Packaging at OFC
20 Mar 2016 at OFC in Anaheim, CA, USA
Attend this OIDA workshop and get a deep look at integrated photonics high volume packaging. Learn about new opportunities for your company. Network with the top experts in the field. Attend three presentation sessions, one discussion session, lunch, poster display, and special evening networking event. Speakers include the CEO of AIM Photonics, Michael Liehr.
View the Program. See the Lineup of Industry Leaders Who Will be Speaking. Register Now (Special Discounts are Available until 22 February)
Last Chance to Shine a Spotlight on Your New Company's Technology in OFC's New START UP Pavilion
New in 2016, The Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exhibition (OFC) will recognize innovative technology startups who are positioned to make a future impact on the industry. The OFC START UP Pavilion will showcase cutting-edge optics and photonics entrepreneurs to the industry's most iconic companies and its most prestigious audience of over 13,000 professionals from around the globe.
Submit your application by 15 January. Learn more.
Start the New Year with a New Job or New Hire. Find both at WORKinOPTICS.com
The Optical Society's (OSA) online job board, WORKinOPTICS.com connects leading employers, qualified job and internship seekers and consultants within the optics and photonics community. Whether you're searching for a job, someone to fill a job, or exploring career options, WORKinOPTICS.com is a reliable global resource that can help you to make valuable connections in industry and academia.
OSA Industry Development Associates member companies get 20 free job postings! Learn more and join other OIDA members who have found new hires on WiO. "Optonicus has connected with highly qualified candidates with strong skill sets through the Work-in-Optics website, and we look forward to connecting with future team members as our business grows" Tom Tumolillo, Jr., COO of Optonicus
Senator Coons Recognizes International Year of Light
Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) submitted a statement for the Congressional Record recognizing the International Year of Light, which 2015 was designated by the United Nations General Assembly. The statement appeared in the 17 December 2015 Congressional Record and reaffirms the crucial role optics and photonics play in the U.S. economy and everyday life. It also recognizes the importance of continued investment in fundamental optics and photonics research and applauds the people of the United States for participating in the International Year of Light through local programs, activities, and ceremonies.
Submit an OSA Senior Member Designation Request
If you have significant professional experience in the optics and photonics industry, you are encouraged to request the OSA Senior Member designation in recognition of your accomplishments. Request forms are due no later than 29 February 2016. Find out more.
OSA Launches Centennial Celebration
The Optical Society kicked off its 100th anniversary year on 1 January 2016. The osa.org/100 website features iconic moments in optics history, OSA member videos and stories, student chapter tools and a calendar of events. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for updates. Share your favorite memory with OSA by emailing email@example.com, writing on our Facebook page or tweeting using #OSA100.
Sponsor the OSA Centennial Celebration and Reach 270,000 Leaders All Year Long in 2016
We are inviting your company to be part of our 100th Anniversary festivities. Choose one of our three Centennial Sponsorship options and your company will be highlighted in a year-long calendar of special events and programs that will provide you with high visibility in the optics and photonics market. To learn more contact Centennial Sponsorships at +1 (202) 416.1957. A sponsorship opportunity like this happens only once every 100 years!
Want to get even more insight and access to great discussions about optics and photonics?
Join 3,000 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!
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|OSA Industry Development Committee
Thank you to the volunteers who oversee the programs and services available to the Industry Community.
| • Jean-Michel Pelaprat,
• Allan Ashmead,
• Henrik Skov
• Simin Cai,
|• John Dexheimer,
• James Fisher,
• Alex Fong,
Gooch & Housego
• Fred Leonberger,
| • Claudio Mazzali,
• Mike Mielke,
• Jerry Rawls,
• Martin Seifert,
| • Costel Subran,
• Christoph Harder,
Harder and Partner,