March 15, 2021
Photons Canada news

The Global Optics and Photonics Industry 2020

The 2020 Optics and Photonics Industry Report (Fall Update) issued by SPIE, provides an in-depth assessment of the global optics and photonics industry, including new data on the markets enabled by photonics and the anticipated impact of the global pandemic on the photonics marketplace. The report highlights industry trends and profiles key companies involved.

My highlights in this report are:

The monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced worldwide in 2019 (global GDP) amounted to about $87.6 trillion U.S. dollars.

The value of light-enabled products and services is estimated to be between $7 trillion and $10 trillion annually, which means the science and application of light-called photonics-represents roughly 11% of the world’s economy.

  • Core photonic components production employs more than one million people worldwide.
  • The global share of the photonics components market is shifting as dominance of Asia, and specifically China, increases.
  • Global annual revenues for photonics-enabled products exceeded $2.0 trillion in 2019 and are expected to remain flat-to-down in 2020 due to the impact of the pandemic.

As for Canada, economic tracking codes in the USA (NAICS) and in Europe (NACE) do not have a category for photonics. In a sampling by SPIE, “photonics companies” used 259 different NAICS codes. As a result, although market estimates and economic impact assessments are an essential tool for understanding and promoting the photonics business, the conclusions of such estimates can vary widely.

Source: 2020 Optics and Photonics Industry Report (Fall Update) (

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