Riding the winds of change: Photonics in 2019

March 28, 2019
As you will read in this Report on the 31st annual Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar, the revenue numbers remain good for lasers and across many photonics markets - but the ground is shifting. 
Conard 720

As you will read in this Report on the 31st annual Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar (held February 4, 2019), the revenue numbers remain good for lasers and across many photonics markets—but the ground is shifting. Macro-economic factors, trade disputes, and political tensions have created uncertainty. And new technologies, along with new ways of delivering products and services, reveal that even more changes are afoot.

This year, the Seminar format contained a mix of presentations, interviews, and panel discussions so that the audience could hear direct answers to questions and not rely so much on PowerPoint presentations. For example, I interviewed laser market analyst Allen Nogee after his presentation on global laser markets. And after lunch, I was on stage talking to Matthijs Glastra, CEO of Novanta.

Two panels engaged the audience in different ways on very different topics: precision optics and quantum technologies. The precision optics panel featured participants from Heraeus, Optimax Systems, the University of Rochester, and Synopsys, while emerging market opportunities for photonics in quantum information systems were discussed by panelists from Atomic Vector, IonQ, ColdQuanta, and M Squared Lasers.

We also heard talks from a scientist at the National Cancer Institute on the future of lasers in flow cytometry, a consultant on the tumult in Chinese laser markets, and two talks on changing global trends in mergers and acquisitions from Ceres Technology Advisors and Renevo Capital. To lead off, the general manager of TRUMPF Lasers described the new solutions-oriented thinking necessary to support the changing demands of industrial manufacturing customers.

I hope this Report gives you a sense of the Seminar and the information presented. The Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar, I believe, remains the leading event where you can network with colleagues as you hear about developments in our markets and consider the implications for your business.



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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