Comparing Plans in the International Competition for Future Optics & Photonics Manufacturing and Jobs
A reminder: We are living in the century of the photon.
There will be great economic rewards to nations — and regions — that are able to grow their optics, photonics and imaging ecosystems. Nations are investing billions into making certain that they reap both the opportunities and the rewards.
New York State’s $250 million investment in AIM Photonics, led by $110 million from the Department of Defense is such an investment. The demand for integrated photonics devices is real. Nations that are able to manufacture these little light-based chips stand to reap extraordinary technological and economic rewards, and New York State is the captain of the U.S. team that will develop and scale the manufacturing of integrated photonics devices. Think Manhattan Project — or the Apollo Mission.
As big as the market potential is, integrated photonics is scarcely even a market segment yet — and according to SPIE, the International Society for Photonics Engineering, the market for optics, photonics and imaging devices is already greater than $480 billion. This is a market where the Finger Lakes Region already competes, and competed, prior to the announcement of AIM Photonics.
SPIE Photonics West, held annually at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, is North America’s biggest photonics conference. The conference attracts over 1200 exhibitors and over 22,000 attendees — a three day exhibition and six days of presentations and technical meetings at ~100 PPH (presentations per hour).
A glance at the SPIE Photonics West 2017 floor plan shows that New York is competing with countries, not other states or regions.
It makes sense, then, to look at the the competition and examine their plans where possible.
Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council’s here (page 26).
The National Photonics Initiative is here.
The AIM Photonics roadmap is here, and is focused strictly upon integrated photonics chips.