Photonics is the technology that focuses on generating, transporting and detecting light waves and light particles (photons). It is already used in a wide range of products and processes in which light plays an important role. Think of ever-improving cameras in mobile phones, sustainable lighting and fast fibre-optic internet connections.

Photonic solutions are a response to the growing need for fast, reliable communication and industry digitisation. It is used for imaging, spectroscopy and metrology. But the application also extends to food production, home comfort and health technology, thus making an important contribution to solving societal challenges. A new development concerns miniaturisation and integration in chips, the so-called integrated photonics.

Key technology

Europe has indicated its willingness to invest heavily in photonics as a key enabling technology. Not only to achieve European industrial leadership and economic growth, but also to stimulate high-quality, long-term employment.

The global growth of the photonics industry is estimated to be 40% over the next five years. Technology plays a major role in the success of the Dutch high-tech industry and is a driving force for maintaining the competitiveness of our economy. Nearly 300 Dutch companies, many of which are SMEs, work directly on the development and application of photonics products.

National Agenda Photonics

To accelerate the realisation of photonics, PhotonicsNL, Dutch Optics Centre of TNO and TU Delft along with PhotonDelta, and partly at the request of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, have drafted a National Agenda Photonics. This plan, in combination with the PhotonDelta investment initiative for integrated photonics, forms a single agenda and a framework for photonics initiatives in the Netherlands.

More information about the National Agenda Photonics (in Dutch)

Go to the website


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Ir. Bart Snijders

  • optics
  • photonics