Member News - September 2020

Industry Member News

09 September, 2020

Read about Case Studies from the Pandemic, What’s Coming in the Fall, Special Events, New Reports and Other Noteworthy News, Opinions & Opportunities

OSA Corporate Member

In this Issue:

OSA COVID-19 Message

As part of our ongoing commitment to OSA's global community, we have successfully launched all-virtual meetings and events during the course of the covid-19 pandemic. We have provided high-quality technical content to our members and customers worldwide in meetings that have attracted tens of thousands of attendees. The live and pre-recorded presentations are made available to registrants to accommodate different time zones and participants have engaged with speakers on unique networking platforms. Our We Are On initiative has offered virtual events on topics ranging from scientific research to professional development. We encourage you to join us in upcoming virtual meetings and events as we step up our efforts to be a resource to you. Learn more.


Case Studies from the Pandemic

The optics and photonics industry sells into hardware products, often large equipment. Such equipment sales are cyclic with business cycles, making component and system suppliers vulnerable in deep recessions. There are several ways that companies can help sustain their revenues through a recession, particularly by diversifying revenues across many customers and markets. Another is to sell consumables and services that continue even when equipment sales slow down. A couple examples from the current pandemic demonstrate this well.

Illumina is a supplier of DNA sequencing and other life science instrumentation. It is not a familiar name to the community, but at US$ 3.5 billion in annual sales, it is one of the most important companies in our sector. It would seem that Illumina's instrument sales would increase in the pandemic, as researchers worldwide scramble to implement rapid testing for the virus, antibodies, and antigens, and qualify a vaccine and a cure. Even Illumina's new instrument sales dropped early this year, however, as the world shut down, reducing patient visits to clinics, and keeping researchers who buy their instruments away from labs. The company expects some recovery in the second half of 2020, and sped a COVID-19 diagnostic test to the market, which should improve sales further.

Illumina actually sells far more consumables and services than new instruments, as shown in the chart. Services include genotyping and sequencing services, instrument service contracts, and development and licensing agreements. The sales of consumables scales with the installed base of instruments, not just the instrument sales alone. Consequently, Illumina can sell consumables even when instrument sales slow down. The pandemic disrupted its customer operations so much, however, that even the sales of consumables took a steep dive.

Source: OIDA, from company statements.

ASML is a company that knows boom and bust business cycles well, and prepares for them. Some of its equipment sells for more than €100 million apiece, making the company very sensitive to slowdowns in installations of new semiconductor fabrication equipment. Once again, however, the service revenues scale with the installed base of equipment, can continue as long as the equipment is in use, and bring a high profit margin. (This category includes maintenance and relocation services, and installation of new application software). The company must prepare for the cycles in other ways, but the ongoing service revenue helps smooth out the cycles.

Source: OIDA, from company statements. *Values for 2020 are projected through Q3.

Boeing is an example of another kind of income diversification. It sells aircraft for both the commercial and military markets, and a range of services. Boeing already lost substantial revenue when its 737 Max aircraft was grounded in March 2019, and customers delayed or cancelled delivery for the model. Then one year later, the pandemic spread and airlines cut orders for all models of aircraft, eliminating even more revenue for Boeing. In Q2 2020, Boeing’s commercial aircraft income dropped 90% from the recent peak in Q4 2018.

But Boeing also has a significant business selling to its Defense, Space and Security segment, and for services, such as maintenance, supply chain management, training and analytics. Despite the disruptions from the pandemic, its defense segment actually improved over the previous quarters.

Source: OIDA, from company statements.

While no company or sector is untouched by the pandemic, most optics and photonics companies are diversified across at least a few other sources of revenue, helping to steady the company through this crisis.


What's Coming in Fall 2020

Since the pandemic hit, members have been asking how they can make the connections they usually make at our industry exhibitions. With in-person events cancelled through 2020, OIDA has found strong interest in our sponsored webinars and also the recent OIDA Technology Showcase. The showcase featured a networking session, where attendees could meet virtually with online exhibitors. Based on the positive response, we are looking for more opportunities to match customers and suppliers in this way.

And that's not all! Since the pandemic began, OIDA produced many special webinars addressing how optics and photonics companies can adjust to the crisis, on topics ranging from supply chain management to employment law. OSA also produces valuable content on professional career development and a range of technical topics in optics and photonics. These webinars can be found at OSA's We Are On page, here.

Source: Gahan Wilson at Cartoon Collections.

Now that the initial shock of the pandemic has given way to a kind of siege, OIDA is moving its focus to ways to engage the community, such as the Technology Showcase. Look for upcoming roundtable discussions on the OIDA Quantum Photonics Roadmap, on 15 and 16 September at OSA’s Frontiers in Optics Conference (here) and on 7 October at Photonics Days Berlin Brandenburg 2020 (here). And on 12 November, OIDA will host once again its speed meetings for SBIR/STTR funding from U.S. agencies.

Check out the upcoming and past OIDA event schedule here, and the on demand presentations from our last OIDA Technology Showcase here. For more information about the sponsored webinars, or to participate in our upcoming showcase event, contact Sakshi Sethi at For more from OSA's online content, see the OSA We Are On webpage here.

Source: Shannon Wheeler at Cartoon Collections.

Finally, is the scene viewable in your Zoom calls clean and organized, while the rest of your home or office is in disarray? Has your dress code slipped since the pandemic started? You’re not alone! We hope that you and your families and friends are healthy and doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances, and that we can all see each other in person soon enough.


Welcome New OIDA Members




Luminate Finals 2020 Event to be Held at FiO

FiO will host the Luminate Finals 2020, in which ten startup companies compete for up to US$ 2 million in funding support. Hear pitches from each of the finalists and be there when the winner is announced!

The program will be presented on Monday, 14 September, and is available to all FiO registrants. Learn more about the program in this Luminate NextCorps podcast with Claudio Mazzali, 2018-2019 OIDA Chair and Sr. VP and CTO of the Corning Optical Communications Sector, Corning, Inc., USA; and Luminate Managing Director Sujatha Ramanujan.

Free registration for the Luminate event includes four days of science and applications programming for FiO and the OSA Quantum 2.0 Conference, both of which will be presented concurrently.


Attend Two Virtual OIDA Quantum Roadmap Roundtables at FiO

You are invited to attend two online quantum discussions at the OSA Frontiers in Optics Conference. These two OIDA roundtables will review the requirements for optical components for applications of quantum technology.

Registration includes a week's worth of FiO programming and the OSA Quantum 2.0 Conference, which will also take place at FiO.

Learn more about quantum photonics and navigate the path ahead with the OIDA Quantum Photonics Roadmap report. The report is available to OIDA Members at and to non-members at OIDA's recent webinar on quantum is also now available for on-demand viewing here.


New! OIDA Virtual Networking & Volunteer Engagement Event at FiO
11:30-12:00 Wednesday 16 September

Join with other FiO attendees for this informal networking discussion about engagement opportunities within OIDA. Learn more about the governing structure and additional volunteer opportunities with OIDA. Simin Cai, OIDA Council Chair and President & CEO of Go!Foton, Amy Eskilson, President & CEO of Inrad Optics as well as OIDA staff, will be on hand to answer your questions. The session will include a brief overview and time for Q&A so come with your questions. You will be able to turn your camera and mic on or off to participate as you choose.

  1. What is the overall mission of OIDA?
  2. How does the governance of OIDA work? (requirements, responsibilities, and time commitment)
  3. How to be more engaged with OIDA programs and events? (planning committee, speaking roles, and attendance at Lunch & Learn event)

Learn more. Registration is open to all FiO registrants. Register today.


RSVP for Virtual OIDA Member Benefit Orientation

RSVP for OIDA's member benefit overview orientation. This is an opportunity to learn more about key membership benefits you and your company should be taking advantage of and explore how to maximize performance and grow your business.

Whether you have been an active member for years and need a quick refresh or are transitioning to the new OIDA membership model — this orientation is a must-attend! Please feel free to share this with your colleagues. When you join OIDA, everyone at your organization becomes a member.


Access the Latest Laser Applications Information, Connect and Discover New Technologies at the FREE Virtual OSA Laser Applications Conference at the OSA Laser Congress

Join us for the Laser Applications Conference—live and on-demand! The OSA Laser Congress has transitioned to a dynamic new virtual event format—and best of all it's free. Enjoy full access to the Laser Applications Conference PLUS the Advanced Solid State Lasers Conference. Select what you're most interested in, then watch, read, interact and discover at your own pace.

The Laser Applications Conference (LAC), an all invited speaker format for industry in Laser Applications, focuses on Materials Processing and Applications for High Power Lasers. This is a unique opportunity to learn from leaders in Applied Industrial R&D.

LAC highlights include:

Plenary Speaker
Jan Kleinert

From µs to fs, kHz to GHz: laser micromachining in the microelectronics industry.


29 Invited Laser Applications Conference Speakers

Timely sessions on Lasers for Autonomous Mobility, Brittle Material Processing, Laser-Based Additive Manufacturing and more!

Register today. There's no cost to participate as an attendee (contributing authors pay a US$ 100 presentation fee.)


Recognize Your Colleague's Contributions

OSA's awards program recognizes a wide range of contributions, below are prizes/awards that specifically celebrate the achievements of engineers, business leaders, inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs. View a full list of OSA awards. Nominations for 2021 are due 1 October 2020.


Invitation to Join the OIDA Optics and Photonics Industry LinkedIn Group

Join 3,500+ of your colleagues in our OIDA 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!


Link Now...


Questions or Suggestions about OIDA Member Benefits?

We are committed to ensuring the value of your OSA Industry Development Associates Membership, so please email OIDA if you have any suggestions for new programs or comments on your membership.

Forward this message to your colleagues.

Not yet a member? Learn more about the benefits of membership.


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

  • Simin Cai,
    Go!Foton, Chair
  • Claudio Mazzali,
    Corning Research &
    Development Corp, Past Chair
  • John Dexheimer,
    LightWave Advisors, Inc.
  • Turan Erdogan,
    Plymouth Grating
    Laboratory, Inc.
  • Amy Eskilson,
    Inrad Optics
  • Christoph S. Harder,
  • Anjul Loiacono,
    Thorlabs Inc.
  • Rick Plympton,
    Optimax Systems, Inc.
  • Debbie Wilson,
    Lumentum Operations Inc.






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