Member News - September 2013

Industry Member News

12 September, 2013


The National Photonics Initiative - Taking it to the Labs

In August, the recently launched National Photonics Initiative (NPI) ramped up efforts to educate members of Congress about the vital role optics and photonics plays in the national economy by bringing legislators out of the halls of Congress and into the labs.

On 7 August, the University of Central Florida (UCF) Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers (CREOL), in conjunction with the Florida Photonics Cluster and support from OSA and SPIE, hosted Representative John Mica (R-FL 7) for an NPI discussion and a tour of CREOL’s facilities. Rep. Mica – and the more than 30 industry attendees – heard remarks from M.J. Soileau, CREOL VP of Research; Alex Fong, Florida Photonics Cluster President; Bahaa Saleh, Dean of CREOL; and Peter Baker, executive director of the Laser Institute of America (LIA) and was then lead on a tour of four labs. Rep. Mica was so impressed by the experience; he agreed to author an op-ed on the need for investments in optical sciences. The piece ran in the Orlando Sentinel on 
20 August.

On 14 August, the University of Arizona –with support from OSA and SPIE – joined the push, hosting Congressman Ron Barber (D-AZ 2) for a tour of the College of Optical Sciences and a question and answer session with over 60 local industry members, students and faculty. Rep. Barber – a University of Arizona alum – heard from Tom Koch, Dean of the College of Optical Sciences on the impact of optics and photonics nationally and in Arizona, and was then treated to a tour of the school’s CIAN Internet Lab and the Stewart Mirror Lab. Rep. Barber was very responsive throughout the visit and pledged to be an ally for the science in Congress.

Outreach efforts are continuing into September, including an NPI panel discussion at the Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster Annual Meeting 
5 September – keynoted by Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY 25) – a site visit by Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA 17) to Directed Light in San Jose on 16 September, and Capitol Hill visits to multiple offices on 19 September.

Organizations that are interested in getting involved with the NPI – including by hosting a Congressional visit, participating in future events, or becoming anofficial NPI partner – should contact Laura Kolton at or 202.416.1499.

Rep. John Mica (R-FL) and CREOL Professor Peter Delfyett discussing optical communications technology. 

Rep. Ron Barber and University of Arizona Professor Roger Angel inspecting a furnace used to create curved glass at the Stewart Mirror Lab.

Update on the NPI and OIDA’s role

The National Photonics Initiative (NPI) was officially launched on 23 May —what’s next for the NPI?  It is now entering a new phase, having completed awhite paper of recommendations from industry members of the photonics community.  There is also an ongoing lobbying effort on Capitol Hill, conducted through Podesta Group, a firm contracted by the founding NPI co-sponsors, OSA and SPIE.

A next step will be the release of a report quantifying the U.S. photonics industry, with regards to the number of companies, the total revenues generated, and employment.  This will be jointly published by OSA and SPIE, with OIDA making much of the contribution for OSA’s part.

The report will be the first of its kind to address the U.S. industry, but readers will be cautioned: defining the industry is fraught with value judgments.  What is “U.S. revenue” for a globalized company like JDSU?  What is “optics & photonics” for a systems integrator like Lockheed?  How does one differentiate the optics from what optics enables downstream?

While the NPI is promoting optics & photonics to policymakers and the community at a high level, OIDA is working at a more tactical level, to achieve specific goals (see item above). 

OIDA’s bottom line is this: no matter how it is quantified, the U.S. optics & photonics industry is sizable and world-class, but it is strategically important to maintain that role in the national economy.


Exclusive — Now Available to OIDA Members!

OIDA's update of the fiber optic sensor market

The latest installment of the OIDA Market Update features a meta-analysis of reports on the fiber optic sensor market.  OIDA has tracked that market for several years, most recently including a workshop on the topic in 2010 and aworkshop report in 2011.  This month’s segment indicates that suppliers are optimistic for double-digit growth in coming years, fueled by the energy industry, particularly oil & gas exploration and extraction.

There have been a surprising number of market reports on this topic in the last few years, with some wide differences among them David Krohn, of the Photonic Sensors Consortium, in a report offered through IGI, estimates the 2013 market for distributed fiber sensors at $622 million.  BCC Research estimates the market at $1.7 billion for the same year, including additional segments but also reflecting more optimism about emerging and niche markets.  OIDA identified 5 other reports published in 2011 or later.  This month’s OIDA report parses some of these perspectives. 

Key factors holding back fiber sensors are: restricted government funding, lack of standards, and the slow education and adoption process in industries such as oil & gas.  A key driver is forming strategic partnerships.  The exit path for several companies in the last few years has been acquisition by the prime oil & gas service companies, such as Baker Hughes, Halliburton, Schlumberger, and Weatherford International.  Another key driver has been to exploit the improvements in cost and performance in telecom components, for use as light sources for fiber sensors.

The September installment of the OIDA Market Update also includes an overview of trends in data communications relevant to optoelectronics.

Visit the Publications Page to view this timely report as well as the complete report library:

Not an OIDA Member? Join today and gain access to this report and the exclusive portfolio of OIDA member benefits!


Winners Announced for 1st Annual OSA Enabled by Optics Contest

Optics technology is a critical component in products we use every day. However some may ask: "What's optics have to do with it?" The Annual OSA Enabled by Optics Contest provides companies and students with a platform to explain how optics technology has impacted our world.

Congratulations to the winners!

Corporate Contest Winner
Trojan Technologies

Honorable Mention
Eyejusters Ltd

Student Contest Winner
Sarah Jaye Oliva, Ateneo de Manila University

Check out the winners and all the submissions showcasing how optics has become essential to every aspect of modern life:

View all company entries

View all student entries

Attend the Enabled by Optics Inaugural Event 8 October at Frontiers in Optics (FiO)


Photonic Integration Workshop has a different focus

September 17 marks the date of OIDA’s Photonic Integration Workshop in Washington DC—but this event aims at achieving real consensus among manufacturers rather than simply presenting the latest research, as other events often do.  It is looking for common ground where companies can share technology and/or resources, perhaps through third-party companies.  And it’sfocusing on the assembly side of photonic integration, not the wafer fabrication side.

The workshop offers open registration but aims for a small audience, and follows an invitation-only event that was held on 30 May, also in Washington DC.  At the May 30 event, representatives from large U.S. photonics suppliers and U.S. government agencies discussed the need for shared interests in partnerships.  There was general agreement on the need to move forward with such partnerships.  OIDA is also working with a small group to advance a proposal, to be presented at the 17 September workshop. 

Meanwhile, OIDA recently hosted a NSF meeting to bring together U.S. government agencies and leading U.S. researchers to discuss ways to share resources for fabrication of silicon photonics.  The NSF meeting is complementary to the OIDA workshop: aimed more at academic research and at wafer fabrication. 

OIDA is committed toward this targeted effort in photonic manufacturing.  While it has been much talked about—getting mention in the 2012 National Academies report—our industry has little history working together.  Join us 
17 September and be part of the conversation.

This event is Free to OIDA Members
OSA Corporate Members Save 50% on Registration

Register Today: OIDA Workshop — Status and Future of Photonic Integration, Sponsored by Infinera

Register Today: OIDA Annual Forum


Date:   Monday, 18 November 2013 – Special Afternoon Programming Offered Exclusively to OIDA Members
Tuesday, 19 November 2013 – Full Day of Programming Open to All
Location:   Washington, D.C.

OIDA's Annual Forum brings key stakeholders together in Washington, D.C. to maximize discussion between industry, government, and academic decision-makers.

The 2013 Forum will feature:

  • Market overviews
  • Perspectives on hot topics
  • Highlights on activities in diverse geographic regions
  • Lessons learned from recent OIDA roadmapping efforts

In addition, there will also be an exclusive members-only session on government agency activities relevant to optoelectronics.

Save the date, attend and ensure that you are included in this unique, once-a-year industry forum for the optoelectronics community!

Other Upcoming Events

Complimentary Corporate Networking Reception and Special Business Presentations at FiO
After the exhibit hall closes on Tuesday, join your colleagues for a 2-hour complimentary networking reception and business program. 
08 October, 2013 - Orlando, FL

OIDA Complimentary Program on Industrial Lasers
28 October, 2013 - Marriott Paris Rive Gauche Hotel and Convention Center
Paris, France


New Benefits for OIDA Members!

OSA Corporate Membership and OIDA – A new alliance providing the resources your company needs to succeed. Take advantage of these new benefits with your OIDA Membership. Look for more information on this new partnership in the coming months. 

Some of the new benefits include:

  • Secure the Right Talent through Post 20 job openings at no charge, with additional postings at 50% off.
  • Gain exclusive access to OSA's individual members of more than 18,000 optics professionals. Your first mailing list order includes 5,000 names at no charge.
  • And More – Learn more about all of the OIDA/OSA Corporate Membermember benefits.

Have questions about membership? Contact Regan Pickett,, 1.202.416.1474.