Member News - September 2015

Industry Member News

09 September, 2015

OSA Corporate Member Newsletter
In this Issue:

Biophotonics Funding: Europe vs. the U.S.
This just in: OIDA has obtained a new and improved estimate of biophotonics funding by the U.S. and European governments. Before we get to that, however, don't expect this to be the definitive answer. Getting any estimate for this segment is by far the most difficult of any that OIDA has investigated. More on that in a moment.

OIDA now estimates that the U.S. government spends about $100-200 million per year on R&D into biophotonics topics. Most of this is through the National Institutes of Health (NIH), such as the National Eye Institute and the National Cancer Institute. Other agencies that spend on biophotonics include the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Energy.

OIDA is still de-convoluting the spending in Europe, complicated in part by the complex network of spending by the national and European governments, and it seems that most projects require at least some co-funding by industry or national governments, so it's not easy to discern what is actually spent and when. OIDA's best estimate is that the overall spending is about $100 million, approximately the same as the U.S., perhaps slightly less.

The greatest challenge in the public biophotonics funding is defining just what is R&D into biophotonics itself, versus efforts that use biophotonics tools (such as microscopy) to advance R&D in something else (such as cancer treatment). It's not just that the two are intertwined; it's not necessarily clear that there is any boundary at all. OIDA reported in a recent OIDA Market Update that a word search identified nearly $30 million per year in NIH grants using one relevant search term (see figure), while an earlier National Academies study identified as much as $1 billion using other relevant terms. Clearly that method is too coarse to be much use.

Our new estimate comes closer to the real value. More information can be found in past and upcoming OIDA Market Updates, or contact

NIH grants identified using "biophotonics" as a search term, by institute.
OSA Industry Development Committee

Thank you to the volunteers who oversee the programs and services available to the Industry Community.
 • Jean-Michel Pelaprat,
    Figulus, Chair

 • Allan Ashmead,

 • Henrik Skov
    Ibsen Photonics

 • Simin Cai,

 • John Dexheimer,
    Lightwave Advisors

 • James Fisher,

 • Alex Fong,
    Gooch & Housego

 • Steve Grubb,

 • Fred Leonberger,
    Technologies, LLC

 • Claudio Mazzali,
    Corning, Inc.

 • Mike Mielke,

 • Jerry Rawls,

 • Martin Seifert,

 • Costel Subran,
    Opton Laser

 • Christoph Harder,
    Harder and Partner,

Update on Export Reform
On May 5, 2015 the federal government issued a proposed rule change to Category XII of the US Munitions List that covers fire control, range finder, optical and guidance and control equipment. The proposed rule is intended to streamline the export control process, but instead creates more burdensome regulations on companies that export products that fall within the category. A two month public comment period followed the release of the proposed rule and the Departments of State and Commerce received over 150 comments from companies, associations, and individuals.

Now is the time for Congress to make phone calls, send letters, and hold meetings with agency officials that are involved in this rulemaking process. OSA/OIDA has organized 25 meetings with congressional offices to discuss the proposed rule and concerns that industry has with it. Working with OSA, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has submitted a letter to the Departments of State, Commerce, and Defense urging the agencies to work with industry and academia to fundamentally rewrite the proposed rule. OSA/OIDA is also working with the NY and CA congressional delegations led by Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY-25) and Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA-17) to initiate further outreach to the agencies. If you would like to get involved and have your member of congress support this outreach to agencies overseeing the rule change please contact Laura Kolton of OSA at or (202) 416-1499.

OSA Workshop on Photonics for Exascale Supercomputers
OSA hosted an invitation-only meeting on photonics for next-generation supercomputers on 10-11 August, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Office of Science to help in its investments in SBIR and other R&D funding. More precisely, the topic was "extreme-scale computing" also known as exascale computing, which is a future generation of high-performance computing also known as HPC, known to you and me as supercomputing. The focus was on optical interconnects, but there is longer term interest in optical switching as well.

The Office of Science supports the Department of Energy's needs for HPC, such as for climate change modeling and nuclear test simulation. DOE is too small of a customer to lead the industry R&D, and in fact, HPC is not a large market today, compared to the capital spending on new data centers every year. DOE does co-fund some R&D, however, to advance the next generation of supercomputers, or more likely, the generation after that. (And yes, there will be more after those.)

The good news is that exascale now seems possible. The bad news is that it's still far away from a real system, and in part because of the gap between what the system integrators say they want and what the optics suppliers can actually provide in the next foreseeable years. One of the many takeaways from the workshop was that the stratification of the supply chain for supercomputing may make commercialization even more challenging than it already is for data centers or telecom. Customers like Google and Facebook have achieved enough scale to drive innovation for their own needs. It's not always profitable for the suppliers, but it's good for the customers, and even those customers have needed to make partnerships with their suppliers to make it happen. But in supercomputing, while DOE plans to buy new bleeding-edge systems on a regular schedule, it amounts to only four highest-end systems spread over two alternating planning cycles, not enough to drive innovation without substantial co-investment. And forget about mandating a technology into a system; if something goes wrong, the system vendor may have to pay for it, so those vendors are understandably cautious.

On 29 July, the White House announced a new National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI), to ensure U.S. leadership in high-performance computing. There is no funding yet for the initiative; the next step is to establish funding through the annual budgeting process that passes through Congress.

Stay tuned for a workshop report to be published in the coming months. For questions, contact

The Mira 10-petaflop IBM Blue Gene/Q supercomputer at Argonne National Lab

In Memoriam: Roland Haitz, LED Pioneer and Cofounder of OIDA, 1935-2015
Dr. Roland Haitz, an established figure in the LED industry and one of the founders of OIDA, passed away in June in Portola Valley, California. Dr. Haitz (pronounced "heights") had a career that spanned more than 50 years. He led development of many light-emitting technologies, from displays of handheld calculators to LED tail lights, and was a visionary for LED lighting.

He is best known for Haitz's Law, which states that every 10 years the light generated per LED package increases 20x and the cost falls by 10x. The projection has proved accurate for over 15 years.

Roland Haitz grew up on a farm in Germany during World War II that depended on horses to till the fields. He studied at the Munich Technical University in physics under Nikolaus Riehl, and later received his PhD under William Shockley (each a winner of a major prize but on opposite sides of the Cold War, as Dr. Haitz liked to point out). He worked at Shockley Semiconductor, the original Silicon Valley startup, and later at Texas Instruments, another pioneering company in semiconductors.

Dr. Haitz settled at Hewlett-Packard and later at its offspring companies Agilent, Avago, and Lumileds. He led R&D efforts at HP that led to many profitable products, such as an optocoupler, and the 7-segment displays in HP's scientific calculators. In the late 1980s, he was a co-founder of OIDA and served on its board of directors. Later, he persuaded HP to form a joint venture with Philips for LED manufacturing, and Lumileds remains a leading manufacturer of LEDs today. After his formal retirement, he led a successful effort for U.S. Department of Energy funding of solid-state lighting R&D. At 76, he joined a startup company, QuarkStar.

Over his life, Dr. Haitz submitted over 50 patent applications, the first of which was co-invented with Shockley and the last of which was filed just months ago. His last paper was published in the prestigious Annalen der Physik just days before his passing. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, 2 children, and 3 grandchildren.

Get the Capital You Need, Meet with Top Funders, & Gain Exposure to Key Business Leaders
ATTEND Plug and Play IoT EXPO
10 December 2015
Sunnyvale, CA, USA

OSA is partnering with Plug and Play, a business accelerator, who has helped the startup community raise over $3.5 billion in venture funding. A dedicated hour has been secured at Plug and Play's IoT EXPO for optics and photonics start-ups to pitch and promote their products to their network of 300 tech startups, 180 investors and a community of leading Universities and Corporate partners.

Start accelerating your business growth and submit your application today!

Enter the OSA Enabled by Optics Contest — Submission Deadline: 5 November 2015
You know the extraordinary impact optics technology has played in making technological advances and the critical role it plays in everyday life. This is your chance to explain how your technology has impacted our world. Provide a creative narrative on how your technology has impacted Society.

What You Will Win: A lot of publicity including an OSA produced video featuring your company and the specific technology highlighted in your entry.

Read more and check out the video about last year's winner. Share your story, explain the impact, and win the contest!

New! From Research to Market—Register Now for Complimentary "How to Communicate HighTech to the Market" Workshop for Scientists and Startups
Sunday, 4 October, 14:00-17:00, at the Advanced Solid State Lasers Conference and Exhibition in Berlin, Germany

Winning customers for a new high-tech product is far from easy. But it has been done many times. This workshop gives hands-on advice for the communication of new technologies to prospective markets. Attendees will learn how to set up an efficient integrated communication strategy for a given technology or product and what they have to do to implement this strategy and to meet the respective targets.

Two experts with a proven track record in the field share their experience and respond to the ever growing need to communicate complex technologies efficiently.

This workshop is complimentary but those interested in attending must register. Seating is limited so don't delay, sign up now!

Andreas Thoss
Publishing Professional and
Thoss Media GmbH

Susanne Hellwage
Communication consultant focused
on science and technology
Hellwage Wissenschaftskommunikation

More Industry Programming at Advanced Solid State Lasers Conference and Exhibition (ASSL)
04 - 09 October 2015, Berlin, Germany
Join us for two complimentary sessions at ASSL this year:
Keynote Presentation: The History of Disk Lasers from the Perspective of a Contemporary Witness
Friedrich Dausinger, CEO, Dausinger + Giesen GmbH, Germany
7 October 2015; 10:30 — 11:30

Industry Panel: What are the Limitations of Technology?
6 October 2015, 11:30 — 12:30
These sessions are presented by OSA Industry Development Associates. Exhibit space for ASSL is still available. For more information on exhibiting contact the OSA Business Development Group, Kari Jacobson Smith, +1 202.416.1988, Be sure to ask about the special discount for OSA Industry Development Associates members.

New! You're Invited to OSA's Free Town Hall Forum on Biophotonics
Wednesday, 21 October 2015, 6:00 - 8:00 P.M., San Jose, CA, USA
Please join us for an open town-hall meeting, where thought leaders debate and share perspectives that are critical to the rapidly expanding biophotonics market.

Questions to be discussed include:
  • What is the enabling technology that has the most market traction?
  • What are the challenges and opportunities among photonics technologies today?
  • Where is the best potential for funding?
This event's new, interactive format will prioritize key findings for future use by the community. Happy hour drinks and snacks are complimentary.

To submit your questions and topics for discussion email Tom Hausken, Senior Industry Advisor, OSA, at

OIDA Workshop on State of the Art Integrated Photonics
3 November, OSA's Office in Washington D.C., USA
Attend and learn about the opportunities—and limits—of commercializing integrated photonics. This must-attend workshop will answer the following questions:
  • Where is the limit of discrete photonics?
  • Where is manufacturing economical and where is it not?
  • How is this threshold different for different applications?
  • What is the role of integrated photonics in the data center?
  • What is the future for commercialization of integrated photonic sensors?
OIDA Members save $150 on registrations received by 6 October. Register today. Learn more.

Experience Time Travel with Executive Speaker Series Playback!
Didn't get to attend our Executive Speaker Series interviews? We have a solution. Gain access to online video recordings. OSA's Executive Speaker Series interviews are informal conversations with some of the most interesting and engaging executives in our industry. They respond to questions from C-Level peers, and share stories about their career paths, corporate observations and personal perspectives. Interviewees include John Ambroseo, President and Chief Executive Officer, Coherent, Martin Seifert, President, Nufern, Milton Chang, Managing Director, Incubic, LLC and more!

Watch these recorded video interviews online now and get personal viewpoints from top leaders in the optics and photonics field. Just click the "Archived Interviews" tab.


Call for Nominations — OSA Awards & Honors
Nominations for OSA Awards & Honors are due 1 October. We hope you will take this opportunity to honor the work of a colleague. Awards that specifically honor the achievements of engineers, business leaders, inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs include:
  • Joseph Fraunhofer Award/Robert M. Burley Prize - Recognizing significant research accomplishments in the field of optical engineering.
  • Robert E. Hopkins Leadership Award – Recognizing an individual or group who has had a significant impact on the global optics and photonics community or an individual or group from the optics and photonics community who has had a significant impact on society as a whole stemming from non-research oriented activities. The award seeks to recognize achievement/s that would not be eligible for a traditional OSA award or medal. Nominees do not need to be OSA members or active in the field.
  • Edwin H. Land Medal - Recognizing pioneering work empowered by scientific research to create inventions, technologies, and products. This award is co-sponsored with the Society for Imaging Science and Technolog
  • David Richardson Medal - Recognizing those who have made significant contributions to optical engineering, primarily in the commercial and industrial sector.

New Applied Optics Engineering and Laboratory Notes Now Online
Applied Optics now publishes articles called Engineering and Laboratory Notes (E&L Notes). These articles are intended to give engineers and technicians a venue to highlight laboratory techniques and hands-on skills required for the design, analysis, fabrication, integration, alignment, and measurement of optical components and systems. Check out these recently published E&L Notes: Want to publish an E&L Note? Submit your manuscript today! If you aren't yet ready to submit, read this editorial by the E&L Notes Editor Brian Monacelli to learn more.

Sponsor the OSA Centennial Celebration & Connect with 270,000 Industry Leaders All Year Long!
The Optical Society is celebrating its 100th Anniversary in 2016, and we are inviting your company to be part of our festivities. Choose one of our three Centennial Sponsorship options and your company will be highlighted in a year-long calendar of special events and programs that will provide you with high visibility in the optics and photonics market. To learn more contact Regan Pickett, or 202.416.1474. A sponsorship opportunity like this happens only once every 100 years!

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!
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