Photonics-enabled market worth $1.45 trillion

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Revenue generated by core photonics and photonics-enabled businesses continues on an upward trend, according to the most recent analysis from a survey of the global market by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics. Along with revenue, numbers of companies and employees are also on the rise, the report says.

The report notes that in 2014, there were around 3,200 companies in the core components business, underpinning photonics-enabled markets worth $1.45 trillion and employing approximately 3.5 million people.

Of the total $1.45 trillion in revenues projected this year from photonic-enabled markets: 52 per cent are in consumer and entertainment; 15 per cent are in defence, security, and law enforcement; and 15 per cent are in lighting and displays.

SPIE director of industry development Stephen Anderson presented the analysis on 12 October at an executive breakfast sponsored by EPIC during the Micro Photonics International Congress Expo in Berlin.

SPIE began compiling data for analysis in 2012, because ‘not having numbers makes it more difficult to encourage investment by the financial community and by politicians,’ Anderson said.

The SPIE analysis includes companies that have exhibited at optics and photonics events, excluding publishers, media outlets, associations, distributors, educational institutions, government labs, and consultants. Computations are based on Dun and Bradstreet data and other publicly available information.

The most recent update provides 2015 revenue estimates for the core components business and indicates that the sales of core photonics materials and components continued to grow at a healthy rate over 2014 when reported by region in the local currencies. Revenues in China, for example, increased by 114 per cent.