Photonics can expect a boom in 2013 after a relatively flat 2012, according to Edmund Optics' chief executive officer Robert Edmund.
Speaking to Electro Optics, exclusively at Optatec in Frankfurt, Edmund set out his expectations for the next financial year. During the Optatec CEO roundtable Edmund participated in, he had said that the 2010/2011 financial year had delivered 20 per cent growth while in 2012, so far, it had been a flat year.
However, buoyed by investment bankers’ interest in photonics, Edmund told Electro Optics: ‘I am expecting [a boom] because I think that we’re going to have a change in US government and Europe is already recognising that it’s private enterprise and private technology that has to drive this [recovery].’
Edmund qualified his prediction by adding that, ‘you expect many things and they don’t always happen. If events don’t go the right way we won’t have that boom.' His enthusiasm for private finance follows interest he saw in photonics by bankers that attended this year’s Photonics West show. ‘There were a lot of bankers walking around,’ Edmund said. ‘Private capital is very interested in investing in technology and they do it better than government. They [the bankers] are learning that there are optics in almost everything you touch.’
Edmund contrasted private finances’ ability to pick winners with governments’ past attempts, citing president Barack Obama’s support for solar systems company Solyndra. It had to suspend its manufacturing operations in August 2011 because of difficult market conditions.