Business Forum: Sensing changes at the Marketplace Seminar

Sept. 1, 2019
Changing photonics markets and increasing economic uncertainty frame discussions at the Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar.
Conard Holton2

The economies of the industrialized world are looking wobbly, and some harsh rhetoric and new tariffs are taking a toll on confidence and investments. What is not clear are the impacts felt in specific laser markets and by large and small laser manufacturers. We plan to explore these questions on Monday, February 3, 2020, at the Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar, held during SPIE Photonics West at the InterContinental Hotel in San Francisco. This 32nd annual version of the Seminar will include some significant changes that still maintain the format and goal of providing insights into trends and opportunities in photonics, along with extensive executive networking.

First, we are very pleased to announce that Laser Focus World and SPIE have formed a new partnership around the Marketplace Seminar. You’ll see evidence of this cooperation in the programming, marketing, and networking at the Seminar, which will still be owned and produced by Endeavor Business Media (formerly PennWell), the publisher of Laser Focus World. In turn, the Seminar will augment SPIE’s growing industry program at Photonics West and reach an even larger audience of executives, business development managers, and investors.

As part of its new role, SPIE Director of Industry Development Steve Anderson will moderate a panel of senior executives discussing global photonics markets, as well as the political and economic climate affecting their businesses. In addition, SPIE Government Affairs Director Jennifer Douris O’Bryan will present a very relevant lunchtime talk on global public policy and investments.

Our keynote speaker this year is Akira Hiruma, president and CEO of Hamamatsu Photonics, who will talk about the development of new photonics technologies and applications, and the importance of entrepreneurial thinking. In addition, we’ll have an executive interview with John Lee, the incoming CEO of MKS Instruments, who will explain how the company has integrated its acquisitions and is addressing numerous markets with its photonics tools.

Our laser market analyst, Allen Nogee of Laser Markets Research, will again present his laser market data and analyses based on extensive research and discussions with laser companies, and Bo Gu from Bos Photonics will present his laser market data from China, along with an extended discussion about how the growing trade conflict with China is affecting laser manufacturers and end users.

To update us on some important technology trends, we will have Jessica DeGroote Nelson, Director of Technology and Strategy at Optimax, speaking on how emerging laser applications are placing new demands on optics, and how advances in such applications as directed energy, lidar, and industrial lasers are shaping the way optics are made.

And finally, John Dexheimer from LightWave Advisors will again moderate a panel on a critical emerging technology—this year, it is on VCSELs and how the hyper-market expansion of VCSEL-based 3D sensing applications and technologies are broadening the wave of innovation at all levels for all optoelectronic semiconductors and supporting optics. The acceleration in VCSEL adoption is also driving the photonics ecosystem to create new applications and price/performance points for edge emitter lasers.

I hope you will join us during Photonics West to learn more about all these topics and to network with your colleagues. John Lewis, Editor in Chief of Laser Focus World and my co-chair at the Seminar, feel strongly that the meeting will be worthy of your time and a chance to gain a strong sense of the changing photonics markets.

About the Author

Conard Holton | Editor at Large

Conard Holton has 25 years of science and technology editing and writing experience. He was formerly a staff member and consultant for government agencies such as the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the International Atomic Energy Agency, and engineering companies such as Bechtel. He joined Laser Focus World in 1997 as senior editor, becoming editor in chief of WDM Solutions, which he founded in 1999. In 2003 he joined Vision Systems Design as editor in chief, while continuing as contributing editor at Laser Focus World. Conard became editor in chief of Laser Focus World in August 2011, a role in which he served through August 2018. He then served as Editor at Large for Laser Focus World and Co-Chair of the Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar from August 2018 through January 2022. He received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, with additional studies at the Colorado School of Mines and Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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