||Help Us Advocate for Optics and Photonics in April!
It's turning out to be a busy year for OSA's advocacy, as you already know if you read our updates in the last two OIDA newsletters. This month we are calling for members to participate in their nearest March for Science.
There's more! See recent OIDA newsletters for more on what we've been doing. See here for more information on technology policies important to our community. For questions, contact Tom Hausken or Laura Kolton.
- Participate in the March for Science on 22 April! Over 170 organizations are now part of the March for Science to be held on Saturday, 22 April—Earth Day. Marches are planned for nearly 400 cities across the U.S. and the world to publicly celebrate science. Among the honorary co-chairs is Bill Nye, the Science Guy. OSA joined the partnership on 14 March with this press release, and the list of partners continues to grow. To find out about the marches in your area and other information, see here. The partnership asks that you register to help them count engagement. OSA will be hosting an open house at its headquarters for those marching in Washington, DC. We encourage you to share your tweets and photos on the OSA social wall. If you want to attend the open house and march with OSA in Washington DC, see here, or email email@example.com.
- OSA launches IPAC to advocate for optics and photonics internationally. In March, OSA released details on its International Photonics Advocacy Coalition, IPAC, to advocate for optics and photonics across borders. The effort brings in scientists, companies, policymakers, and other stakeholders to help bring the benefits of our field to wider use. The first effort is centered on technologies for environmental monitoring, a complex and advancing topic of scientific and policy interest. OSA hosted a meeting of invited stakeholders in Brussels on 28 March to review the technologies and to hear from program directors in European Union agencies.
Optical Communications is a Bull Market but With Too Many Product Versions
Wonder why the mood was so great at OFC17 last month? Three things, according to analysts speaking at a Market Watch session.
Alex Henderson, of Needham & Co., says that the components market is in a "supercycle", meaning that these multiple, favorable winds are combining to sustain the market, and for a more extended period. While it’s often dangerous to claim that "this time it's different", he says that this time it really is different. The supercycle doesn't apply to the systems market, however, because systems vendors don't fully benefit from the growth in hyperscale data centers or Chinese investment. Or at least not the publicly-traded companies that he covers.
- First, there's the phenomenal growth in hyperscale data centers. These are huge data centers the size of warehouses, used for features like web search or social networking. That growth is the most difficult to forecast long term, according to Vlad Kozlov of LightCounting, because it requires speculation of how people will use digital technologies for upcoming applications.
- Second, there’s continuing and strong investment in China. That's also challenging to forecast, because it involves decisions by Chinese carriers and government officials.
- Third, there is "everything else" all of the other investment in long haul, metro, access, and enterprise networking, particularly the metro buildout. This category is more predictable, according to Kozlov.
Components suppliers are seeing record profit margins, although still modest compared to the data center operators. A consistent complaint among component vendors is that there are too many product versions, and yet there seems to be no way around it. Kevin Lefebvre of Ovum called it the "Wheel of Fortune," where companies take their chances with versions and hope their investment isn't wasted. One observer claimed there are over 50 variants of Ethernet standards for 25 Gbps or greater. There are different speeds (see for example the Ethernet Alliance roadmap in the figure), different reaches, for the official Ethernet standard versions. And then there are also the off-standard or proprietary versions of Ethernet products: extended reach products, relaxed specification products, and truly proprietary versions, but still following Ethernet technology. And there are all the copper standards too. In fact, nothing is really "standard" if there are dozens of flavors to choose from. (See also Craig Matsumoto's thoughts in the OFC blog. For the 2016 Ethernet Alliance roadmap, see here.)
That said, the strong sales of 100G products, and stories of lengthening lead times, suggest that suppliers have an opportunity to recoup investments in new technology, and even to raise prices in some circumstances. And that is a welcome signal of a bull market in this business.
Meanwhile in Europe — Planning Photonics to 2027
Once again, the OIDA attended the annual meeting of Photonics21, the funding advisory body to the European Commission's Photonics Unit. The current framework program for funding R&D through 2020 is Horizon 2020, so this year's meeting aimed at brainstorming the priorities for the photonics unit within the next program. This next program, currently called Framework Programme 9, will span the seven years of 2021 to 2027.
It's nearly certain that photonics will continue to be funded as an official Key Enabling Technology, or KET, but what isn't certain is the total projected budget for the specific photonics unit, which has averaged about €100M per year through Horizon 2020. Leaders have encouraged members to seek funding through other programs within Horizon 2020, which has a far larger annual budget of about €11 billion per year at 110X greater than unit funding. Forming coalitions and winning an award within the photonics unit is already a challenge, and it could be even more challenging outside of this "home" territory. However, some companies have had success more broadly. It's also possible that the Photonics unit will subdivide its funding differently, based in part on the recommendations from Photonics21 and other factors. For example, member states have targets of spending at least 2% of their economies on military defense, and so there may be new emphasis on funding military technology in the next program.
Photonics21 is being held accountable for meeting its current targets by 2020, and issued a mid-term report on its progress at the meeting. The report is only available for online viewing (here). This report estimates that the program is approximately on track, with European production reaching €66.7B in 2015, growing 5.0% compounded annually since 2005. Employment in the European photonics industry is estimated at 290,000 in 2015, growing 2.1% compounded annually. Using this data, they are most of the way to a goal of 10% growth in jobs from 2012 to 2020, although using a different base value. The values approximately agree with OIDA's estimates, although OIDA places both values slightly greater than the values in this new study.
One item to highlight is that the study determines that the share of production by European companies declined in virtually every category. The target was to maintain market share at 18% from 2012 to 2020. The decline is attributed to global competition, particularly gains in share by Chinese companies. Segments showing strong CAGR growth for European companies include machine tools (including measurement and machine vision), medical technology, and to a lesser extent, lighting and military technology, as shown in the figure.
Clearly there is a lot to work out before the new program starts in 2020. And what about the Brexit? It was formally initiated by hand-delivering a letter to the European Council President Donald Tusk nearby in Brussels while the Photonics21 meeting was taking place. No one knows what the new relationship between the E.U. and the U.K. will be after 2019, and for that matter what the state of the E.U. will be in 2027, but there were opinions on all sides at the meeting. It’s hard to say which is more difficult to forecast right now, fast-moving photonics technology, or fast-moving European politics.
For more information, contact Tom Hausken.
NSF "Dear Colleague Letter" for Proposals to Use AIM Photonics
The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) recently issued a "Dear Colleague Letter to small businesses and academic researchers that might seek funding for multi-project wafer runs and other projects utilizing the AIM Photonics manufacturing institute. The letter offers instructions for submitting a proposal for a project that can be funded or supplemented with NSF funds. The letter can be found here. Information on NSF funded SBIR/STTR small business projects in photonics can be found here. The SBIR projects have been announced and proposals are due in June. For more information, contact NSF (with contact information listed in the letter) or Laura Kolton, OSA's Senior Government Relations Director.
Welcome New OIDA Members
Have You Read Our New 2016 OIDA Consolidated Market Updates Report?
||If you were at OFC when we released this new report it's still available for download by OIDA members.
Highlights in the 2016 OIDA Consolidated Market Updates:
Read the report now
- Global Photonics Market
- Optical Communications
- 3D Imaging
- Infared Imaging
- Adaptive Optics
- Integrated Photonics
- Early-Stage Photonics Companies.
OSA Laser Applications Conference is Now Accepting Submissions
In its second year, The Laser Applications Conference (LAC) is an all invited speaker format for industry in Laser Applications at the OSA Laser Congress which will be held in Nagoya, Aichi, Japan 1-5 October 2017. This 3-day meeting focuses on two main topic areas — Materials Processing and Applications for High Power Lasers. Materials Processing includes advanced applications for industrial use. Applications for High Power Lasers will include topics such as EUV for Lithography, 16kW+ Laser Applications, X-Ray Generation, Lasers for Space Applications and Tool Making. The program will be made up primarily of invited speakers however submissions are also being encouraged. One of the themes of this conference will be intimate discussions on what engineering and production advances are needed to translate promising technological advances into marketable products. Submissions will be accepted through 30 May for this industry conference. View the timeline and read the submission guidelines. Mark your calendar to attend.
How Will the Changing Political Landscape Impact Your Company?
Find out at CLEO on 17 May at this special Market Focus session. Meet Government Relations experts as they discuss how the political changes in the United States and Europe will impact the optics and photonics industry. The US perspective provides an overview of the priorities of the Trump Administration and U.S. Congress. The EU perspective includes an overview of the upcoming elections in France and Germany and the impact of Brexit on funding and large scale collaboration projects. Don't miss this opportunity to learn how you will be impacted by these changes and how you can get impact policy decisions with your policymakers.
Update on Optics and Photonics Markets and Opportunities
Mark your calendar now for 16 May at CLEO. This timely panel presentation will review the outlook for key optics and photonics industry sectors and upcoming market opportunities. It will provide a quantitative look at the present performance and trends, as well as examples of where to find industry growth longer term
There's Still Time to Exhibit at CLEO
||Last year CLEO attracted more than 4,600 attendees from all sectors of the market. CLEO provides a global marketplace where the industry learns, networks, connects, and closes deals. Reserve your space today. Time is running out. Learn More
OFC Public Relations Recap
We hope you had a successful OFC 2017, and that you took advantage of the show's free PR opportunities. This year, we had nearly record breaking participation from both exhibitors and the media/analyst community.
Don't wait to start your OFC 2018 planning! The OFC PR Team will begin its series of Exhibitor PR Newsletters in December 2017. Make sure that you register your PR/Marketing contacts to receive important information about PR programs and deadlines. And, don’t forget that OIDA members receive a discount on all news releases distributed over Business Wire. We’re here to help; please contact the OFC PR Team with any questions you might have.
- OFC Generated 11,450 News Articles Reaching an Audience of 5 Billion (as of 4/4/17)!
- More than 100 media/analysts registered for OFC 2017
- Exhibitors distributed 140 news releases here and here highlighting their announcements and show participation.
Get Tips and Best Practices from Applied Optics' Latest Engineering & Lab Notes
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.
Request for Nominations — OSA Awards & Honors
Recognize your colleagues or team with an OSA award nomination. OSA awards and medals celebrate the field's technical, research, education, business, leadership and service accomplishments. New awards and those that specifically acknowledge the achievements of engineers, business leaders, inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs are listed below. The deadline is 1 October, unless noted.
- 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.
- Paul F. Forman Team Engineering Excellence Award Recognizes team technical achievements in optical engineering. Nominations are due 2 July.
- 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.
- Joseph Fraunhofer Award/Robert M. Burley Prize Recognizes research accomplishments in the field of optical engineering.
- Robert E. Hopkins Leadership Award Recognizes an individual or group who has had a significant impact on the global optics and photonics community or has had a significant impact on society as a whole stemming from non-research oriented activities.
- Edwin H. Land Medal Recognizes pioneering work empowered by scientific research to create inventions, technologies, and products (co-sponsored with the Society for Imaging Science and Technology).
- David Richardson Medal Recognizes contributions to optical engineering, primarily in the commercial and industrial sector.
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!
Take advantage of your OSA Industry Development Associates 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 a member? Learn more about the benefits of membership.
|OSA Industry Development Associates 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