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Photonics - What happens next

On Friday July 13th, René Penning de Vries handed over an 8-year plan to Mona Keijzer, the Netherlands State Secretary for Economic Affairs & Climate. It is designed to accelerate development of the Dutch photonics industry, by creating a “one-stop shop” for the development and manufacture of integrated photonic chips.

René Penning de Vries, Chairman Dutch National Photonics Agenda 2018

Everyone in this business is aware of the need for action. Product life cycles have never been shorter. Competition from outside Europe is becoming fierce. So, if The Netherlands wants to maintain the advantage we have established in photonics and get back to being ahead of the pack, then we really have to speed up. But the development of photonics fits very well into the Dutch government's coalition agreement for the next four years which was agreed upon last October. The funds have been reserved and the government Departments, both national and regional, have started to execute the agreement based on well-reasoned plans to spend the public money wisely. An initial amount of €242 million of public and private funds have been reserved for a period of 8 years for photonics to kick start the process. We have the ambition that our combined efforts will create an ecosystem by 2030 of more than 25 companies, with an estimated 4000 jobs and turnover of €1 Billion.

Ewit Roos, Managing Director of PhotonDelta

Ewit Roos, Managing Director of PhotonDelta elaborates on the plans and how public and private funds will be allocated later this year:

We have been visiting many photonics companies that make up the entire supply chain. For many, a financial stimulus is needed to allow these companies to scale-up to the next level, as well as more trained engineering capacity at all levels of competence. So, from chip design right up to final module assembly. There are two types of pressure coming from the market:

Technology Optimization Pressure.
1. We have identified the weak spots in the current supply chain which are primarily related to production. The bottom line is that cycle times need to come down, as well as the manufacturing costs. Many companies can produce in small quantities. But the whole process needs to become faster, more predictable as well as delivering a more reliable product. We can talk for ages about development strategies, but this is what customers need now and in the next few years.
Responding faster to Customer Pressure.
2. Many people in the industry know what needs to be delivered for sectors like datacentres to cope with exponential growth. There are already some very large customer commitments made in the supply chain or in the platform. So, as well as a technology optimization pressure, there's also customer pressure. If your company cannot deliver, then it reflects badly on whole photonic ecosystem in the Netherlands. And we need to address that.

Please read the complete interview here.