11 March 2022 | 14:54

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."

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