Member News - July 2017

Industry Member News

13 July, 2017


OSA Corporate Member Newsletter
In this Issue:

The Optics-Enabled Machine Tool Market is Doing Well in 2017
The mood was good again at the Laser World of Photonics exhibition in Munich in June, from the exhibit floor and OSA-managed conference rooms to the beer garden receptions. OIDA anticipated a good mood, based on financial reports and conversations with the companies we follow. The financial trends which led to this assumption are shown in the first figure, where OIDA's estimate for revenues of optics and photonics companies in 2017 has already started off better than the start in 2016. (Every year has some seasonal behavior, such that Q4 ends high and "resets" lower in the subsequent Q1, so OIDA compares Q1 2017 to the Q1 of the previous year.) The growth is not just in market share of the companies we track, as other companies report similar sentiments, and companies express frustration that they are having difficulty finding enough qualified workers to keep up with production.
The suppliers of lasers and other components for machine tools have been doing especially well in recent years, as shown in the next figure, using financial performance of the companies that OIDA tracks from multiple sectors. The performance is normalized to the beginning of 2013 and uses OIDA's projections for Q2 2017. The companies selling optical components and equipment for machine tools fared better over the period on average than the companies positioned in other sectors. Those sectors have seen declines for a variety of reasons, but many continue to require lasers and optics. For example, manufacturers of displays increasingly use laser-based machine tools—including UV and ultrafast lasers. While the traditional metalworking market is stable, there is continued strong growth in laser tools for manufacturing consumer electronics.
We're only half-way through the year, but from the results of the first half of 2017 we expect similar trends for the second half. For more details on optics and photonics markets, see the OIDA Market Updates.

Two Special Small Business Opportunities in Optics and Photonics
  • In 2017 the U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Scientific Computing Research program office began a program to accelerate the development of photonic interconnect fabrics in modern supercomputers. This program accepts SBIR/STTR proposals from collaborative teams of small businesses working together to develop prototype photonic devices that can demonstrate the potential of optical technologies. In 2017 three companies received grants to develop a Photonic Memory Controller Module, connecting a server class CPU to a dozen DRAM modules. In 2018 ASCR expects to solicit collaborative proposals dealing with other photonic technologies that can improve the performance or capabilities of future supercomputers.

    One of the major challenges in creating these new exascale supercomputers is power. The current generation supercomputers consumes 5-8 MW of power while future generations are projected to use a minimum of 20 MW. Studies have shown that moving data over copper traces between IC is a major consumer of power in these machines. Moving to photonic based interconnects would potentially reduce the operational power while improving the aggregate throughput by increasing the number of data channels that can practically be built between chips. The goal of this program is to develop prototype devices that can demonstrate a potential path towards replacing power hungry electrical interconnects with optical interconnects in large supercomputers.

    In July 2017 the ASCR program office expects to release another collaborative topic in the photonic device area. This topic will again ask for photonic devices that can demonstrate replacement technologies for electrical interconnect fabrics inside modern supercomputers. The specific details will be released in the mid July when the DOE SBIR/STTR topics are released. Companies are encouraged to being planning for this topic announcement. It should also be noted that academic and lab partnerships are allowed, the exact requirements will be specified in the DOE Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) that will be released in August.

    If you are seeking a partner for SBIR grants, please contact Tom Hausken.
  • For the 3rd year OIDA will host its Funding Accelerator Speed Meetings event for small companies seeking opportunities with U.S. federal agencies offering small business grants through the SBIR/STTR program. You are invited to participate in this year's event, co-located with OSA's Frontiers in Optics (FiO) in Washington, DC on 18 September 2017. This event will give U.S. companies with less than 500 employees an opportunity to meet one-on-one with program officers from multiple U.S. federal agencies, all in one place, in one day — minimizing your time investment and increasing your chances for new government funding.

    This OIDA event will give you an insider perspective on what agencies are looking to fund; as well as provide you with up-to-date information on each agency's SBIR/STTR funding process, and how you can enhance your probability of success. In addition, the event will help government agencies better understand what OIDA members can offer and how optics and photonics technologies can help them meet their goals. For more information and to secure your company's reservation, please e-mail OSA Director of Industry Membership, Andrew Dougherty at

Update on the National Photonics Initiative
Every month we feature highlights of OSA's advocacy of optics and photonics to policymakers. Most of these efforts are made stronger by joining with other organizations, such as the March for Science and Congressional Visits Day in April. This month we list some of the recent activities out of the National Photonics Initiative (NPI), the advocacy partnership formed in 2012 by five societies: founding sponsors OSA and SPIE, and sponsors APS, IEEE Photonics Society, and LIA.
  • On 22 June, the NPI presented a proposal to the U.S. House Science Committee to fund a National Quantum Initiative, at $500 million over 5 years, put into four quantum innovation labs. Find more information here.
  • The NPI issued a statement on 15 June urging U.S. congressional leaders to include optics and photonics technical training opportunities between community colleges and U.S. industry in the reauthorization of the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Act. See the press release here.
  • The NPI issued a statement on 23 May opposing the sweeping cuts to science R&D in President Trump’s FY2018 budget proposal currently before the U.S. Congress. See the press release here.
  • The NPI issued a statement on 3 May supporting the FY2017 omnibus appropriations bill that was eventually passed and signed by President Trump. That legislation appropriated funding for the U.S. government through the remainder of the current fiscal year. See the press release here.
  • The NPI Biophotonics Task Force held a workshop on strategies for improving early detection of cancer and response to therapies through imaging technologies on 12 April in Rockville, Maryland. The workshop was led by Dr. Eva Sevick, chair of the task force. The organizers plan to develop a technology roadmap summarizing recommendations for public and private investments in key areas of technology development.
  • On 24 April, the NPI honored Dr. Larry Goldberg, lifelong champion for optics and photonics and a critical voice in the founding of the NPI. Dr. Goldberg’s role in securing NSF’s support for the creation of the NPI was an essential step for our community.
Dr. Larry Goldberg (center, with award) with wife and representatives
from the NPI, OSA, and SPIE.
As reported in previous OIDA newsletters, OSA is active in many more efforts unilaterally and with many other science and technology organizations. For more information on OSA advocacy efforts, or to arrange a site visit of a U.S. congressperson to your company facilities, contact Laura Kolton, OSA senior director of government relations. For the latest news relevant to optics and photonics, see the OSA Washington Updates page. Track key bills and votes in our OSA Take Action Center. And sign up for email updates by joining the OSA Optics Legislative Network.

Save the Date for OIDA's Workshop on Biosensors on 10 November 2017
Mark your calendar to attend OIDA's new workshop on biosensors at OSA headquarters in Washington, D.C. on 10 November. During this workshop business leaders will join in a dynamic discussion and share perspectives that are critical to understanding the rapidly expanding biosensors market. Information will be available in late July.

Have You Taken Advantage of Your $2,000 Discount?
OIDA Members receive a $2,000 discount on webinar sponsorships. Sign up for an Industry Webinar and we will help you market it to a targeted segment of more than 270,000 qualified customers that match the topical content of your session.
  • Does your company already produce webinars? Expand your corporate visibility and reach new customers by easily repackaging your content to a brand new audience. OIDA will bring in the attendees for you.
  • New to webinar production? OIDA can help you get there with our hassle-free logistics. You’ll see first-hand how easy it is to educate potential customers about how your technology works and why they need it.
Shine the spotlight on your company now with an OIDA global webinar.

Use your OIDA Member $2,000 discount now. Contact OIDA at, +1.202.416.1474,

OSA Launches Innovation School Boot Camp for Photonics
Professionals 23-27 July
Successful companies hone and harness the entrepreneurial/intrapreneurial spirit within their employees and leverage it for greater success. This year, the OSA Foundation is launching The Innovation School from 23-27 July in Washington DC, USA. During this 4-day bootcamp, you will learn the key methodologies for discovering, developing and launching innovative solutions and products; have opportunities to meet and collaborate with peers; and gain invaluable experience working directly with mentors from industry. This hands-on program is perfect for professionals seeking to participate in the innovation economy — as an innovator in their company.

Location: The Optical Society Headquarters, 2010 Massachusetts Avenue, NW Washington, DC, USA
Registration: $1,500 USD (not including travel and housing)
For more information or to register, please visit

Seats Limited: Register Today

Learn Hands-on Skills and Laboratory Techniques from Applied Optics' Engineering & Lab Notes
Engineering and Laboratory Notes (E&L Notes), from Applied Optics, highlight laboratory methods and best practices technicians and specialists can utilize for the design, analysis, fabrication, integration, alignment, and measurement of optical components and systems. E&L Notes Editor Brian Monacelli sums up the initiative here.

Applied Optics recently published these E&L Notes: View all of the published E&L Notes here.
SHARE YOUR SKILLS: Applied Optics continues to seek E&L Notes to publish. Submit yours today.

Announcing the Kevin Thompson Optical Design Innovator Award
Established in memory of Kevin P. Thompson, this award recognizes contributions to lens design, optical engineering, or metrology by an early-career professional.
We are now accepting nominations for the 2018 inaugural award.
Deadline: 1 October 2017.

Invitation to Join the LinkedIn Optics and Photonics Industry LinkedIn Group
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!
Linkedin Link Now...

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OSA Industry Development Associates (OIDA) Committee
Thank you to the volunteers who oversee the programs and services available to the Industry Community.

 • Alex Fong,
    Gooch & Housego, Chair

 • Claudio Mazzali,
    Corning, Inc., Chair-Elect

 • Henrik Skov
    Ibsen Photonics

 • Simin Cai,
• John Dexheimer,
    Lightwave Advisors

 • Fred Leonberger,
    Technologies, LLC

 • Mike Mielke,

 • Martin Seifert
 • Costel Subran,
    Opton Laser

 • Christoph Harder,
    Harder and Partner

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