Life Sciences Venture Funding Half Full
There's some half-full half-empty news in venture investment for life sciences. The good news is that spending by U.S. venture firms in the sector in 2016 was the 2nd greatest ever, edging just above 2014. And there has been an upward trend for over 20 years, at compounded annual growth of 10%, and surges in 2000, 2007, and 2015. That's quite a trend.
Each of these surges was followed by a brief decline in investment, though, with a particularly long trough following the Great Recession beginning in 2008. That may suggest that 2017 is in for less investment. But it could decline and still be among the best years ever for this sector.
The figure shows the U.S. venture investment for two categories, representing about 17% of the investment across all categories. The share has varied over the years, peaking at 28% in 2009, while hitting a low of 6% in 1999-2000, when investment in the dot.com and telecom sectors flooded from venture firms.
Other good news: the decline in 2016 is not a flight from the life science sector in particular, but a decline across all sectors. Only the software and IT hardware sectors saw gains.
|Source: National Venture Capital Association (2017).
||Advocacy Action Items — We Need Your Help!
Last month we pressed our U.S. members on two action items. We repeat those calls to action here, and list some highlights of our busy 2016 advocacy efforts.
- Participate in Congressional Visits Day on 24-26 April. OIDA's U.S. members need to highlight optics and photonics to their legislators. OSA and its partners in the NPI and other societies host an annual Congressional Visits Day (CVD), where volunteers from our community meet with members of Congress and staff to discuss issues important to our community. OSA staff will schedule and coordinate your meetings and escort you to all of your meetings. Training on how to effectively get your message across to legislators will occur on 25 April, with visits to your Congressional representatives on 26 April. Please consider participating this year in this important program. Sign up to participate.
- 14 March deadline for comment on U.S. export control regulations. On 13 January, the Departments of Commerce and State released a Notice of Inquiry in the Federal Register to seek public opinion on Category XII of the United States Munitions List (USML) and proposed changes to the Commerce Control List Category VI. Comments are currently being accepted via the Federal Register (State and Commerce) and the deadline to submit your input is 14 March 2017. This is a revision to the final rules released last October and put into effect on 31 December 2016. The NOI is a pre-approved policy, meaning that the rules will stand as written unless sufficient persuasive comments are received. We strongly encourage you to review the NOI and analyze the impact on your current and future business. See also OSA's press release.
Highlights from Our Advocacy Efforts
There's more! Extensive work on U.S. export control revisions (including Congressional testimony by OSA's Chief Science Officer, Greg Quarles), congressional visits, congressional fellowships, an emerging international advocacy effort, and OIDA's analyses of the impact of Brexit and the U.S. presidential election on the optics and photonics community. See here for more information on technology policies important to our community. For questions, contact Tom Hausken or Laura Kolton.
- OSA recognizes Dr. France Córdova, NSF Director, by presenting her with the OSA Advocate of Optics. Dr. Cordova was presented with the recognition during the OSA Leadership meeting in Washington, DC for her support as director of the National Science Foundation of optics and photonics, such as for the LIGO project and the International Year of Light (see the OSA press
- Letters regarding the U.S. Executive Order on visas and immigration. On 27 January 2017, OSA signed a letter with 150 other societies urging the new administration to rescind the White House Executive Order on visas and immigration on the grounds that it discourages many of the best international engineers and scientists to attend conferences, work and start businesses, or study in the U.S. OSA urges impacted members to contact us, here. See also here. On 21 February, OSA signed another letter with 14 other engineering associations urging the administration to work with all stakeholders to ensure a free flow of ideas and people necessary for innovation, and a visa system that is transparent, predictable, and fair, while also protecting national security.
- Other recommendations to the new U.S. administration. In November, the leaders of 29 science and engineering societies, including CEO of the Optical Society Liz Rogan, submitted a letter to President-elect Trump asking him to appoint an Assistant to the President for Science and Technology — the so-called science advisor — to manage science policy in the new administration. In October, before the results of the U.S. election, the NPI released a white paper with recommendations to the transition teams of the two major parties to improve "U.S. prosperity and security through the science and application of light."
- Optics and photonics written into U.S. law. Congress passed and President Obama signed into law the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act in December. Language specific to optics and photonics is included in section 603 of the bill by Senators Nelson, Peters, Thune, and Gardner. This is all thanks to members of the optics and photonics community who came to Washington, D.C., to participate in the National Photonics Initiative's (NPI) visits with members of Congress, advocating for language to be added to the bill. See also OSA's and NPI's press releases.
- Quantum photonics. The NPI released a white paper advocating the role of optics and photonics in a U.S. government initative in quantum science and technology (QST) in December. Missing in the top-level policy discussions of this topic of growing interest was mention of the importance of optics and photonics. The white paper was shared with former White House officials and elements of it will be shared with the Trump administration.
- Cancer Moonshot. The NPI Cancer Moonshot Task Force released a press release and white paper last June with recommendations to the U.S. Cancer Moonshot Initiative for adoption of new optics and photonics technologies and transforming health system information technologies. The NPI worked to successfully support the 21st Century Cures Act to fund photonics priorities in the Cancer Moonshot and the BRAIN Initiative signed into law by President Obama. The bill provides $1.8 billion to support the Cancer Moonshot and $1.5 billion in support of the BRAIN Initiative. NPI has been a vocal and active contributor to the essential work of both of these legacy initiatives.
- High power lasers. The NPI released a white paper calling for a coordinated strategy to manufacture high power lasers, also last June. It recommended increased funding to ensure a domestic supply of critical components for high power lasers, and policies that protect critical technologies without inhibiting U.S. exporters.
- Manufacturing USA institutes. The AIM Photonics institute for advancing the commercialization of integrated photonics was launched in July 2015 as one of the U.S. government's Manufacturing USA institutes, formerly called NNMI IMIs. OIDA is represented on the advisory board of the AIM Academy, and works with AIM in various ways. The federal government continues to award institutes, now counting 14. OIDA attended a meeting hosted by the BRIDG consortium (formerly iCAMR) in Orlando last June to refine their proposal for a manufacturing institute in compound semiconductor photonic and electronic sensors. BRIDG is completing a state-of-the-art facility in Kissimmee, Florida, and announced last July a partnership with IMEC on chip design.
There is No Market for Nanophotonics — Part 2
In last month's OIDA newsletter, we described what nanophotonics is, and that it is a discipline, a set of enabling technologies, not a market. But there is a market for the things that nanophotonics does. And this is true of other enabling photonics technologies as well. But what makes it so difficult? And if these aren't markets, why do we assign values anyway?
Nanophotonics is often not so much a "thing" as a feature or a process buried deep within a product, with no outward change in its appearance. It may be just one feature of many within the product, if it is featured at all. This subtlety of nanophotonics makes it difficult to value. For example, there may be value in the trade secrets to implement a process that enables a nanophotonic effect, or the patents to protect that process. But implementing the process itself may cost very little. Any royalty would have to be a fraction of the product selling price, and may be too low to be interesting to venture investors. If the process is not protected and becomes widely used, it may have no monetary value at all.
Alternatively, one can count the value of the entire nano-enabled product. Craig Barrett, former chairman of Intel, once said that everything Intel does is nanotechnology, a reference to the nanoscale transistor gate thicknesses of its microprocessors. Sales of all wafer processing tools, including nano-scale film deposition and lithography, is about $30 billion per year, according to SEMI. The entire annual sales of the semiconductor industry enabled by such films is over $300 billion, according to SIA.
The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) went further, claiming in 2003 that the market for nanotechnology was $1 trillion [Mihail Roco]. NSF created this enormous number by aggregating sales of semiconductors, pharmaceuticals, catalytic chemicals and other materials and sectors that it perceived to be enabled by nanotechnology, whether it was novel or multidisciplinary or not.
What about other optics and photonics technologies? We could also say that there is no "market" for lasers, but for what lasers do. End-users of lasers and most other optics and photonics technologies are also mostly uninterested in the specific technologies inside the products, and only want effective products at a good price. Yet, it is still helpful to talk of the "laser market" because lasers have been recognized for over 50 years as a tangible product.
OIDA estimates the global production of optics and photonics components and systems to be over $400 billion per year. There is no monolithic end-user market for such a diverse amalgam of technologies, and $400 billion is too large a value to comprehend.
OIDA finds that policymakers, funding agencies, and investors — as well as our own community — tend to undervalue our industry unless we provide helpful metrics and narratives that illustrate its value to vertical end-markets.
A longer version of this article appeared in the January issue of OSA's Optics & Photonics News, here.
Welcome New OIDA Members
Congratulations to Optikos for 35 Years of Metrology and Optical Product Development
This year, Optikos Corporation celebrates its 35th anniversary as a leading provider of optical engineering design, and metrology products and services. The Company is well known in the optical community, and founder, President and CEO Dr. Stephen D. Fantone has participated in the governance of The Optical Society as former Treasurer from 1996-2013. See an interesting historical photo gallery of Optikos through the years. Congratulations on your service to the optics and photonics community and for your support as an OIDA member and OIDA volunteer!
OSA Congratulates 2017 Award Winners
Each year, OSA recognizes outstanding contributions, service and leadership in the field of optics and photonics. We are proud to announce the following 2017 award and medal recipients: Margaret Murnane, OSA's highest honor the Frederic Ives Medal/Jarus W. Quinn Prize; Martijn de Sterke, Esther Hoffman Beller Medal; Miles J. Padgett, Max Born Award; Paras Prasad, Michael S. Feld Biophotonics Award; Yeshaiahu Fainman, Joseph Fraunhofer Award/Robert M. Burley Prize; Larry Coldren, Nick Holonyak Jr. Award; J. Christopher Dainty, Robert E. Hopkins Leadership Award; Jumpei Tsujiuchi, Emmett N. Leith Medal; Roberto Merlin, Ellis R. Lippincott Award; Dirk Englund, Adolph Lomb Medal; Ming Wu, C. E. K. Mees Medal; Shaul Mukamel, William F. Meggers Award; John Canning, David Richardson Medal; Ken Nakayama, Edgar D. Tillyer Award; Adolf Giesen, Charles Hard Townes Award; Michal Lipson, R. W. Wood Prize.
Our thanks to those who served as nominators and references. We encourage all members to consider nominating a colleague. More information is available online and from the OSA Awards Office (email email@example.com or telephone +1 202.416.1960).
Keynote Speaker for OIDA Executive Forum at OFC Announced
20 March 2017 at OFC in Los Angeles, CA, USA
Jiajin Gao, Deputy General Manager, China Mobile Technology will be the keynote speaker at this year's OIDA Executive Forum. There is still time to register to attend and hear C-Level speakers from major companies lead broad conversations on the state of the global industry, emerging trends and recommended courses of action for optical networking and communications companies. Attend Executive Forum and join industry leaders from top companies as key innovations are assessed and profitable business strategies are fully debated.
Everything your organization needs to stay on top is here — only at OIDA Executive Forum 2017! Register now and take advantage of special discounts for all employees of OIDA member companies, who can also bring a colleague for free. Interested in becoming an Executive Forum Sponsor? Contact us today! firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fireside Chat: Growth and Profitability in Optical Networking - Boom and Bust or Sustainable?
- How Big is the Optical Access Opportunity?
- Trade-offs in Data Center Interconnect (DCI)
- Internet Content Providers Building Out Undersea Networks - What Does This Mean for Everyone Else?
- Short Reach Optics for Data Centers: The New Battleground for Technologies and Suppliers?
Deputy General Manager,
China Mobile Technology
Meet the Power Players in Integrated Photonics at OIDA's Workshop on Manufacturing Trends for Integrated Photonics
19 March 2017 at OFC in Los Angeles, CA, USA
Hear from top industry Speakers including Michael Liehr, CEO of the
American Institute for Manufacturing (AIM) Photonics.
Panel Topics Include:
- Integrated Photonic Networks for Data Centers - the ARPA-E ENLITENED Program
- Towards an Automated World: Sensors for IoT and Industry 4.0
- Photonics Manufacturing Outsourcing for Startups and Small Companies
- Scalable Electro-optical Assembly Techniques for Silicon Photonics
- International Standardisation of Photonic Integrated Circuits
- Impact of Integrated Photonics on the Optical Communications Market
- Monolithic Integrated Transceiver Chips — The Pass to Ultra Low Cost Interconnects
- Update on AIM Photonics Project
- And More!
Learn more and secure your seat today.
CEO AIM Photonics
Register Now for Free Access to the OFC 2017 Exhibition
Meet your vendors at OFC 2017 Exhibition, 21-23 March, Los Angeles, CA.
With over 600 exhibitors, you can make a year's worth of connections in three days. Plus attend more than 15 programs on the show floor covering Intra- and Inter- Data Center Co6nnectivity, Infrastructure Makeover and Networking and SDN/NFV/Open Source. Hear experts from COBO, Ethernet Alliance, IEEE Cloud Computing, IEEE Big Data, MEF, OCP, OIF, ONF, OpenConfig and TIP. Register today for your Exhibits Pass Plus.
Join a Free Live Stream of the OFC Plenary Session
The 2017 OFC Plenary Session will be offered as a free, live video stream event. You'll have the ability to view three presentations as they occur — from the convenience of your home or office. Tuesday, 21 March 2017 08:00 — 10:00 (PDT)
You must pre-register to receive the live stream link.
OFC Career Zone — Start the New Year with a New Job or a New Hire
The OFC Career Zone is where job seekers and employers from all areas of optical communications connect. Check out OFC Career Zone Online and create your account today!
Be sure to also participate in our NEW! Onsite OFC Career Zone Live at OFC, Los Angeles Convention Center, 21-23 March 2017.
Questions: contact email@example.com or +1.202.416.1942
Take Advantage of OFC's Public Relations Opportunities
Go to the online OFC PR Toolkit for information on FREE promotional opportunities including the Breakfast Briefings program, information on Media Center hours and how to reserve space in the briefing room. Exhibiting companies may provide 20 media kits to be displayed in the Media Center. Kits should be brought to Room 309 no later than 12:00, 21 March. To learn about additional PR opportunities, contact the OFC PR Team: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photonic Integrated Circuits (PIC) Workshop on March, 22 at OFC
This year's OFC will feature the 4th workshop on Photonic Integrated Circuits (PIC). The third workshop was held at OFC 2016 and had over 275 attendees and had a unique format consisting of sponsor presentations, then a networking break with catering plus a mini market fair, followed by several use case presentations. The 4th PIC workshop will have a large group of sponsor companies and will be held during OFC on Wednesday March 22, 2017 in Room 515A, at the Los Angeles Convention Center from 5:15pm to 8:15pm.
Driven by 100Gbps in long-haul as well as in datacenter applications, photonic integration is rapidly picking up momentum as it is becoming an indispensable part of those solutions. The purpose of the workshop is to create a one-stop-shop for everyone interested in photonic integration as it brings together all the key players offering solutions, whether foundries, simulation software, packaging, test & measurement, or turn-key solutions. A specific emphasis is on multi-project wafer shuttles (MPW) plus the accompanying Process Design Kits (PDK) as these provides important toolkits to reduce the cost for developing a new chip.
The workshop will provide the audience with a good overall picture of the state-of-art in PICs as well as how to take advantage of existing suppliers to save time and cost. The workshop is free of charge, but does require advance registration. Food and drinks will be provided, and there will be plenty of time to network with the sponsor companies. The workshop is organized by 7 Pennies and OSA Industry Development Associates and is sponsored by a consortium of over 15 PIC services providers covering the entire PIC value chain. For more information and/or registration, please contact email@example.com or go to www.7pennies.com/pic-workshop-2017
Browse the Most-Recent Engineering & Lab Notes from Applied Optics
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:
Looking to highlight your company's innovative techniques? Applied Optics continues to seek E&L Notes to publish. Submit yours today.
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