Revealed: The Photonics100 2024
It’s the second year… and the field remains as strong and surprising as ever!
In little under a year, The Photonics100 has become something rather special. When we came up with the concept back in the summer of 2022, we had a hunch there was an untapped opportunity to shine a light on the people making the photonics sector so electric! We said then – and it’s still true today – that the pace continues to be breathtaking! Despite global challenges, the rate of start-ups remains staggering; there’s a fresh surge of global legislation and political motivation that is designed to accelerate the impact of our work; while the prevalence of photonics as an enabling technology supporting global brands grows ever more critical.
The Photonics100, from the team behind Electro Optics, celebrates the people that drive our industry forward – the innovators, the boundary-pushers, the disruptors, the out-of-the-box thinkers and the R&D ‘rock stars’. We weren’t sure what the market reaction would be to the project at first, but this chance to celebrate the often unsung heroes at the cutting edge of our industry – Chief Technical Officers, Heads of R&D, Senior Engineers, research leaders, entrepreneurs and others – went down a storm. Thank you for your enthusiasm, energy and infectious interest in making our second year arguably even more exciting than the first.
You will recall we asked for nominations operating in any of these four categories:
Photonics vendors – suppliers and integrators of photonics components and systems, such as optics, lasers, sensors, test and measurement, optoelectronics, illumination and imaging.
Original Equipment Manufacturers using photonics – integrators using photonics as an enabling technology in vertical markets such as life sciences, defence, automotive, aerospace, mechanical engineering, electronics, semiconductors and optical communications.
Start-ups – companies under five years old, operating as either a photonics vendor or an OEM (as defined above).
Academia/research – either those involved in photonics research itself or those using photonic technology to further research in a non-photonics field, such as physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, engineering and more.
This year, nominations came from a far wider geography than before and the sheer volume of entrants threatened to overwhelm us at times. Of course, there was some heated debate, but little compromise… This is a hard-fought list to make and, so, congratulations are duly in order for this year’s honorees. We are proud to be able to help celebrate your inspiring work.
Again, last year’s point that no list such as this can claim to be exhaustive remains true, but we hope it creates a compelling snapshot of the widely recognised and the less familiar. Nominations have come from colleagues and customers, long-distance admirers and confidantes. It’s been quite a job deciding on a final cut and it’s timely to thank the wider team at Europa Science and beyond with helping us make these difficult calls and bringing the project to life. I know this is (not yet) the Oscars, but I’d also particularly like to thank Fin O’Reilly for helping get this year’s project completed.
No project as ambitious as this can exist without the help of our commercial partners. In particular, our sincere thanks again to Admesy, who got the original idea in an instant back in 2022 and is our lead sponsor again this time around.
If we see you at Photonex in Glasgow, do ask us for a print edition; otherwise, it will be mailed with the November issue of Electro Optics (and the rest of our photonics portfolio shortly thereafter), ahead of its wider, stateside debut at Photonics West at the start of 2024. Of course, we will again be distributing this issue at events and conferences across the coming year, with material from the project continuing to be released online throughout the next few months. Make sure you have registered at electrooptics.com/register to see it.
We expect some debate on this list and the many other topics we create content about, so join the discussion on our social channels at www.linkedin/showcase/electro-optics and on X (yes, we’re not sure either) @electrooptics. Thank you to everyone for your support in our second year and congratulations to all 100 of you who have made our list. None of this would be possible without you.