News › Photonics21 · Pho­to­nics Mar­ket Data and Indus­try Report 2020

Euro­pean pho­to­nics indus­try gro­wing at more than dou­ble glo­bal GDP rate, new ana­ly­sis finds

New rese­arch published today shows Euro­pean pho­to­nics is gro­wing at more than dou­ble the rate of glo­bal GDP – out­per­forming EU GDP and EU indus­trial pro­duc­tion by three and five times, respec­tively. Pre­sent in many high-end, next-gene­ra­tion pro­ducts, pho­to­nics tech­no­lo­gies have pro­ved to be long-term dri­vers of growth through their indis­pensable role in future markets.

Pho­to­nics – the tech­no­logy and sci­ence of light – is one of the most resi­li­ent and fast-gro­wing indus­tries in Europe, out­per­forming many other mar­ket seg­ments accor­ding to the new ‘Mar­ket Rese­arch Study – Pho­to­nics 2020’ by deep tech­no­logy rese­arch group Tema­tys. Key to seve­ral mega mar­kets – inclu­ding Indus­try 4.0, Digi­ti­sa­tion, Quan­tum, AI, IoT – Euro­pean pho­to­nics have enab­led many mar­ket seg­ments and appli­ca­ti­ons to flou­rish ran­ging from Space, Health­care, Envi­ron­ment, and Defence to Secu­rity Telecoms.

The study deli­vered a glo­wing report on Euro­pean pho­to­nics from 2015 to 2019: the indus­try grew at a CAGR of 7% per year and was worth €103 bil­lion at the latest count in 2019.

Gene­ra­ting Jobs, Sol­ving Socie­tal Challenges

Adding over 30,000 jobs to its work­force, the Euro­pean pho­to­nics’ indus­try out­per­for­med the manu­fac­tu­ring sec­tor across the entire Euro­pean con­ti­nent in terms of employ­ment. With more than 390,000 employees – an annual growth rate of 2.1% – EU pho­to­nics grew twice as fast as Euro­pean Manu­fac­tu­ring for the EU28 (around a 1% CAGR).

Reve­nue growth for this same period in Europe (7% per year) was three times that of the entire Euro­pean GDP (2.3%/year) and almost five times the growth of the Euro­pean indus­trial pro­duc­tion (1.5%/year).

Photonics21 Vice Pre­si­dent Gior­gio Ana­nia said: »The Euro­pean pho­to­nics indus­try is thri­ving, and this study con­firms that light tech­no­lo­gies have a pro­ven track record as a long-term dri­ver of growth not only in Europe but also across the world.

“With a glo­bal growth rate of CAGR 7 %, pho­to­nics is gro­wing fas­ter than many other high-tech indus­tries, for exam­ple, the IT indus­try (4.5%), Med­tech (4.9%), and Microelec­tro­nics (4%).

Thierry Robin from Tema­tys said: “Our ana­ly­sis shows that Euro­pean pho­to­nics is curr­ently see­ing the trans­for­ma­tion of its manu­fac­tu­ring pro­ces­ses with signi­fi­cant impact on jobs and skills.«

“While it may not be imme­dia­tely appa­rent, pho­to­nics is a key enab­ling tech­no­logy pre­sent in every next-gene­ra­tion inno­va­tion, in almost every indus­try. Not only is pho­to­nics dra­ma­ti­cally impro­ving our next gene­ra­tion health dia­gno­stic tools and manu­fac­tu­ring indus­tries but also enab­ling green tech­no­lo­gies that ope­rate with non-inva­sive, clean, harm­less par­tic­les of light.”

Glo­bal Competitor

From 2015 to 2019, Europe main­tai­ned a clear second posi­tion in the glo­bal pho­to­nics mar­ket against fierce inter­na­tio­nal com­pe­ti­tion. Alt­hough Europe and North Ame­rica had held a joint 16% glo­bal mar­ket share in 2015, the new rese­arch showed Europe had nud­ged slightly ahead to 16%, with North Ame­rica on 15%. China con­tin­ued to domi­nate with 29% of the glo­bal mar­ket share – Europe (16%), North Ame­rica (15%), Japan (13%).

The study reve­a­led seve­ral core mar­ket seg­ments where Europe has a firm mar­ket share. While Europe had an average mar­ket share of 16% for all mar­kets, in Indus­try 4.0 for exam­ple, Europe had a CAGR of 40%. In Opti­cal Instru­men­ta­tion, Europe had a CAGR of 38%, while in large instru­ments & space the CAGR was 33%.

Indus­tries with smal­ler CAGR, but still above the 16% EU average, included Defence and secu­rity 22%, Agri­cul­ture and Foods 21%, Health­care and Well­ness 20%, com­pon­ents and mate­ri­als 19%, Mobi­lity, Envi­ron­ment, Energy & Energy Light­ing, and Tele­com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons all with 17%.

R&D spen­ding was con­sider­a­bly high in the Euro­pean pho­to­nics indus­try: loo­king at a sel­ec­tion of large and medium-sized com­pa­nies from seve­ral dif­fe­rent count­ries that ope­rate in all mar­ket seg­ments, the average R&D inten­sity was 10.4% invest­ment. This R&D inten­sity was more than dou­ble the 4% stan­dard (from 1,000 EU and UK com­pa­nies with the most exten­sive R&D). For EU pho­to­nics SMEs, the R&D inten­sity was even hig­her at around 15%.

The Glo­bal Picture

Curr­ently out­per­forming seve­ral high-tech indus­tries, pho­to­nics is gro­wing at twice the rate of glo­bal GDP.

Gro­wing to a glo­bal mar­ket size of €654 (~$790) bil­lion in 2019, the rese­arch shows pho­to­nics mana­ged to grow at a CAGR of 7%. Fol­lo­wing this con­ti­nual CAGR at a con­ser­va­tive 6% pro­jec­tion for­ward, the Tema­tys study shows that the glo­bal pho­to­nics indus­try will reach €900 bil­lion ($1 tril­lion) by 2025.

The expan­sion and con­ti­nual growth in light sci­ence are partly due to its ability to serve many rela­ted and unre­la­ted pro­ducts like sen­sors, camera and ima­ging sys­tems, com­mu­ni­ca­tion, dis­plays, smart light­ing, pho­to­vol­taic sys­tems and laser production.

The study shows that pho­to­nics is par­ti­ci­pa­ting directly in future socie­tal chal­lenges across the world, such as digi­ta­li­sa­tion of pro­duc­tion and society, Health and well-being, Sus­tainable deve­lo­p­ment and Envi­ron­ment, Pho­to­nics for Con­su­mers IT, Medi­cine & Bio­logy, Envi­ron­ment, Light­ing & Energy Indus­try 4.0.

About Photonics21

Photonics21 is the Euro­pean Tech­no­logy Plat­form (ETP) for pho­to­nics, a tech­no­logy encom­pas­sing all of the pro­ducts and pro­ces­ses around the emis­sion, mani­pu­la­tion and detec­tion of light. Pho­to­nics tech­no­lo­gies are inte­gral to many indus­tries, inclu­ding the medi­cal, health­care, trans­port, manu­fac­tu­ring, and tele­com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons sectors.

»Photonics21« was set up in Decem­ber 2005 to bring the com­mu­nity of pho­to­nics rese­ar­chers and indus­tries tog­e­ther. The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion defi­ned pho­to­nics as one of five Euro­pean Key Enab­ling Tech­no­lo­gies (KET’s) in Sep­tem­ber 2009. Shortly after, the Euro­pean Rese­arch & Inno­va­tion Pro­gram »Hori­zon 2020« invi­ted Photonics21 to become a »Public-Pri­vate Part­ner­ship« (PPP). The »Pho­to­nics 21 Asso­cia­tion«, a legal entity under Bel­gium law, became the pri­vate con­tract part­ner in Novem­ber 2013 in a Public-Pri­vate Part­ner­ship (PPP) in con­junc­tion with the EU Com­mis­sion and will become a Pho­to­nics part­ner­ship during the cur­rent frame­work pro­gramme Hori­zon Europe.

Today Photonics21 repres­ents more than 3,000 per­so­nal mem­bers from across Europe and abroad. Our mem­bers and stake­hol­ders are experts in the pho­to­nics indus­try, rese­arch and inno­va­tion orga­ni­sa­ti­ons, uni­ver­si­ties, and value chain part­ners who actively engage with us to deve­lop a joint pho­to­nics stra­tegy for future rese­arch and inno­va­tion in Europe.

With the glo­bal pho­to­nics mar­ket gro­wing from €499 in 2015 to €654 in 2019, light tech­no­lo­gies repre­sent an indus­try with long-term growth poten­tial. Valued at €103 bil­lion in 2019, the Euro­pean pho­to­nics indus­try has been gro­wing at a solid CAGR of 7 % since 2015 and curr­ently employs around 390,000 peo­ple directly.

With opti­mi­stic growth fore­casts, cur­rent indus­try trends like digi­ta­li­sa­tion, resource effi­ci­ency, indi­vi­dual and zero fail­ure pro­duc­tion will fur­ther drive the pho­to­nics industry.

Pho­to­nics plays a signi­fi­cant role in Europe’s Digi­ti­sa­tion and Tech­no­lo­gi­cal Sove­reig­nty. It has the enorm­ous poten­tial for sol­ving Europe’s socie­tal chal­lenges, such as the instant dia­gno­sis of major dise­a­ses, qua­lity food from farm to fork, acci­dent and con­ges­tion-free trans­port, and a truly cir­cu­lar economy.

As a breakth­rough key enab­ling tech­no­logy that is incre­asing the com­pe­ti­ti­ve­ness of Euro­pean indus­try, pho­to­nics can make a signi­fi­cant con­tri­bu­tion to the over-arching Euro­pean Union objec­ti­ves, such as the digi­tal trans­for­ma­tion of Euro­pean indus­try, achie­ving the Euro­pean Green deal and a sus­tainable EU future, and the estab­lish­ment of a future sove­reign and resi­li­ent Euro­pean digi­tal infrastructure.


E: gro.12scinotohp@tairaterces