Photonics - Key Technology of the 21st Century

The technical use of light – photonics for short – enables countless applications in the industrial and private sectors that would be unthinkable without this key technology.

The Internet is based on fiber-optically transmitted data that orbits the earth at the speed of light; displays, cameras and sensors of smartphones are the interfaces to our human senses; and doctors can perform precise diagnoses and therapies that are efficient and gentle thanks to optical systems.

The photonics sector is now a global high-tech industry with above-average growth rates. Automobile manufacturers, machine builders, life sciences companies or medical device manufacturers demand customized optical solutions from our manufacturers, which require a high level of know-how and quality awareness.

Important fields of application are production technology, metrology, medical technology, communication technology, information technology as well as security and defense. In 2019, the 1,000 German companies with their 142,500 employees generated sales of €37.5 billion.


Structure of the sector

The products of the photonics industry are predominantly used in global value chains. Approximately 70% of the products are exported. Almost all companies in the industry are in global competition, especially with companies in North America and Asia.

Photonics producers in Germany are largely medium-sized companies with specialized product portfolios with which they serve system integrators in a wide variety of application fields. The business is predominantly in the business-to-business sector. Some companies also serve consumer goods markets.


Products & Technologies

  • Laser technology, LEDs and OLEDs
  • Optical fibers for power and information transmission
  • Imaging optics such as cameras, microscopes and endoscopes
  • Optical sensors

Customers & Markets

  • Production technology
  • Medical technology
  • Automotive engineering, automotive construction
  • Metrology and Sensors