Opportunities and Challenges for the Photonics industry in 2021

Posted 23/2/2021 by Benet Hanley

At Enigma People Solutions we can really see the significant opportunities for the Photonics industry in 2021. The two notable opportunities are the investment and innovation happening in the market. We believe this is happening because Photonics underpins so many modern and emerging technologies that there is significant growth of excellent innovative companies that develop a wide variety of products and solutions.

The candidates we speak with are fascinated and amazed by the strength of the Photonics market in Scotland, the UK and indeed globally. 

In this blog we discuss the growth potential and some of the challenges faced the Photonics industry in 2021

The global Photonics industry had a market value of 447 Billion EUR in 2015 and is growing, in fact it is expected to touch 642 Billion EUR in 2023. This increase of 43% in 8 years is a clear indicator of how much this industry is expected to grow in future. With the Photonics industry increasingly being seen to play a major role in daily-use essentials across all fields of life including telecoms, media, medical equipment, LDRs, sustainable energy to modern agriculture and laser equipment. The opportunities seem boundless.

The fastest growth in the Photonics industry is driven by advances in media and communications. The high evolution of and use of optical fibers to significantly increase the internet speeds has coincided with the world working from home and demanding more internet access. The increased reliance of internet facilities in our daily lives for communications is co-related with high production and distribution of optical fiber networks. Increased digitization is the future, and the Photonics industry is the solution.

Another significant market for Photonics industry is light-based sensors and detectors. With precise measurements and accuracy of data ensured for every project nowadays, use of highly efficient and effective sensors will continue to rise. Light-based products are giving high quality enhanced results at a low price. It has a direct application in Industry 4.0 which employs artificial intelligence and the increased reliance of reliable connection.

Exciting advancements in the Photonics Industry is driving is the use of optical devices such as smartwatches, holograms and scanners. Holograms are especially interesting growth area that many expect to become more popular in the next 2-5 years. Electronic devices are already a huge market and it is expected that investment in this field will continue to remain strong.

The Challenges:

With numerous benefits, there are challenges too when it comes to the implementation and growth of the Photonics industry in 2021.

Manufacturing of Photonics products is complex and expensive in terms of Capital expenditure so scaling and building these businesses from small research teams to medium sized businesses is financially challenging.

Another problem is staffing, the skills required are specilised, rare and in high demand. There is a war for talent globally in this sector and companies will need to be willing to support relocation to attract not just experienced professionals but graduates, post graduates as well technician staff. The talent pool is growing but competition at undergraduate level for people with the requisite aptitudes from other more established STEM subjects is intense. The result is that not enough people have adopted this new industry yet. However, it won’t take long for people to recognise the amazing career opportunities in store for candidates in this rapidly expanding field.

On one hand the Photonics industry is a gateway to future developments but it needs continued investment, both financially and in talent from university and even transitioning from other STEM fields to provide the people to sustain the growth. In short the career opportunities in the Photonics industry are clear, current and immediate.

That is why Enigma People Solutions is immensely proud to be a valuable partner to the Photonics sector throughout the UK. One of our missions is to use our national and international reach to help the industry in Scotland to attract new talent. One recent example is a senior laser engineer from Sweden who started with one of our clients just before lockdown hit. We have also, in the past year, worked with candidates from France, Germany, Lithuania, Netherlands, Singapore, Hong Kong and USA. We are able to introduce candidates to our clients that they may never have come across otherwise.

Closer to home Enigma is proud to be represented on the steering board for the EPSRC & SFI CDT in Photonic Integration & Advanced Data Storage working to help develop the next generation of talent coming through. Enigma partners the UKESF to help support more women into the wider electronics industry.

Enigma has also continued our corporate sponsorship of Technology Scotland and Photonics Scotland.

If you would like to find out more about how Enigma People Solutions can help your business identify those key hires please contact us at hello@enigmapeople.com and tell us about the position you are looking to hire for.

If you are looking for advice and help regarding a career in Photonics, we’d be happy to help. Just email us at hello@enigmapeople.com.

 

Enigma People Solutions is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. We find technical leaders for the emerging and enabling technology industries. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in photonics, electronics, semiconductor, software and IoT in Scotland and the UK. Check out our blog page for the latest in the technology industry. You can get in touch with us hello@enigmapeople.com or call us on + 44 131 510 8150

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