News | December 4, 2006

Optics And Photonics Find Favor With Investors Again

Nashua, NH — Venture capitalists and public investors alike are exhibiting renewed enthusiasm for the optics industry, according to John Dexheimer, partner at First Analysis Private Equity and president of LightWave Advisors.

The photonics investment climate will be discussed in detail by Dexheimer in his Keynote presentation at the annual Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar in January 2007 in San Jose, CA.

"Not only has 2006 seen a number of IPOs involving optics, laser, and related companies, but these companies are finding new and increasingly creative ways to drum up investors," said Dexheimer.

"We are seeing this in the laser industry and the optical telecom industry," he said.

A similarly optimistic note was struck in a report published this month by the Optoelectronics Industry Development Association (OIDA; Washington, D.C.). Revenues associated with optics and photonics products grew 20% in 2005 to reach $364 billion.

The driving force behind this increase continues to be the successful penetration of display-based products and technologies into both the consumer and computer markets, OIDA noted, with much of the growth in the components segment being driven by solar cells (24%), display modules (20%), and sources and detectors (10%).

"Telecom and datacom markets have strengthened in 2006, but the real excitement is that optoelectronics components are beginning to be utilized in high-volume consumer, entertainment, and computing-based products," said Dr. Michael Lebby, president and CEO of OIDA.

Lebby will also be speaking at the Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar. During the World Markets Forum at the seminar, Lebby will be joined by Thomas P. Pearsall, General Secretary of the European Photonics Industry Consortium, and Dr. Henry Peng, from GE Global Research in Shanghai for a review of opportunities arising from market developments in North America, Europe, and China.

Other featured speakers include Dr. Holger Schlüter, VP and General Manager, TRUMPF Photonics, on high-power disk lasers; and Dr. Paul Rudy, VP, Quintessence Photonics on markets for high-brightness semiconductor lasers. Dr. Tom Hausken and Dr. Robert Steele (both of Strategies Unlimited in Mountain View, CA) will address the global markets for fiber lasers and diode lasers respectively.

Held in conjunction with Photonics West 2007, the Laser and Photonics Marketplace Seminar will take place on January 22, 2007 at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, CA. Proceedings of the seminar including the market survey data will be available on CD-ROM after the event. For a complete agenda, session descriptions, and registration information visit

SOURCE: Laser Focus World Magazine