Skip to main content

Going green: Asian directions for photonics

Governments in Asia, Europe, North America, and elsewhere are finding new ways to prioritize their efforts to support optics technologies and industries and to advance their own national competitiveness and economic success.

A recent article in the SPIE Professional magazine surveyed the latest developments around the world. This post shares some of the magazine's report on what is happening in Asia, where a major focus is on efficient energy. Future posts will focus on Europe and North America.

Asian governments have taken varied approaches in their support of optics and photonics industries.

Last year, the Chinese government announced the 12th iteration of its Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development. The plan, which runs through 2015, includes a focus on the economic value of seven “strategic emerging industries.” Recent reports have estimated that the Chinese government will spend $1.5 trillion US on subsidies in the fields of biotechnology, new energy, high-end equipment manufacturing, energy conservation and environmental protection, clean-energy vehicles, new materials, and next-generation IT.

The government support includes tax incentives and price subsidies for the solar energy industry in China. Additionally, the government has pledged to spend from 1.75% to 2.2% of its GDP on research and development and work toward increasing the number of patents to 3.3 per every 10,000 persons by 2015. This anticipated increase would double the number approved in 2010.

Taiwan has created three core science parks designed to be magnets for high-tech industries. The parks combine research, production, work, and recreational facilities and have helped Taiwan maintain its competitive research advantage, especially with LCD panels, LEDs, and photovoltaic systems.

According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2009-2010, Taiwan ranked sixth among 133 economies worldwide in the “state of cluster development” index.

The first park, Hsinchu Science Park, was created in 1980, followed by two more in 1996 and 2003. Eight more are slated for construction. With $2.53 billion US invested in Hsinchu Park by the Taiwanese government since its creation, a total of 440 companies are operating within the park, employing 132,161 persons by the end of 2009. Nearly $27 billion US was generated that year by its companies.


Popular posts from this blog

#FacesofPhotonics: Inspired

Guest blogger: Emily Power is a Winter Quarter graduate in communications from Western Washington University, and most recently social media intern for SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics. She is blogging on responses to the SPIE #FacesofPhotonics campaign, to share the stories of SPIE students around the globe.
It is a commonly known fact: students are the future. Around the world, students with ideas, opinions, and innovative minds are preparing for their opportunities to conceptualize and create the next advances for the ever-changing world in which we live.
In the field of optics and photonics, students are making a difference even now, sharing their work and building their networks through conferences such as SPIE Photonics West, coming up next month in San Francisco.
The SPIE campaign #FacesofPhotonics was developed as a showcase across social media to connect students from SPIE Student Chapters around the world, highlighting similarities, celebrating differ…

Grilling robot takes over backyard barbecue

Photonics has already made profound contributions to such areas as medicine, energy, and communications to make our everyday lives more efficient. (Hence the name of this blog.) People in all walks of life benefit from the incorporation of photonics technologies. We look forward to future advancements when the technology may help find a cure for cancer, monitor and prevent climate change, and pave the way to other advancements we can’t even visualize yet.
But here’s a photonics-based invention -- already demonstrated – that breaks ground in a new area: the backyard barbecue. Talk about hot fun in the summertime!
The BratWurst Bot made its appearance at the Stallw├Ąchter-Party of the Baden-W├╝rttemberg State Representation in Berlin. It’s made of off-the-shelf robotic components such as the lightweight Universal Robots arm UR-10, a standard parallel gripper (Schunk PG-70) and standard grill tongs. A tablet-based chef’s face interacted with party guests.
Two RGB cameras and a segmentatio…

UPDATE! Gravitational waves ... detected!

Update, 11 February: A hundred years after Einstein predicted them, gravitational waves from a cataclysmic event a billion years ago have been observed.
For the first time, scientists have observed gravitational waves, ripples in the fabric of spacetime arriving at Earth from a cataclysmic event in the distant universe. This confirms a major prediction of Albert Einstein's 1915 general theory of relativity and opens an unprecedented new window to the cosmos.
The discovery was announced on 11 February at a press conference in Washington, DC, hosted by the National Science Foundation, the primary funder of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO).
The gravitational waves were produced during the final fraction of a second of the merger of two black holes to produce a single, more massive spinning black hole. This collision of two black holes had been predicted but never observed.
The event took place on 14 September 2015 at 5:51 a.m. EDT (09:51 UTC) by both of…