To enhance the cooperation with Chinese partners, SPECTARIS and OptecNet co-organised with CIOE and held the 1st Photonics Germany Conference in CIOE 2020. Companies such as SINOLUMINA, Senorics, OptecNet, Ficotec, etc. shared their insights and observations with China's professionals face to face. We are honored to invite Dr. Wenko Süptitz, Head of Photonics Division of SPECTARIS, and Thomas Bauer, Chairman of OptecNet to share their perspectives in German and China's optoelectronic industry.
CIOE: In this challenging 2020 – how does Photonics Germany companies cope with the COVID situation and are there any topics your organization supports the industry?
Thomas Bauer: Fortunately, 2020 started with high demand for our industry, the last years had been very successful in development and sales. So, most of our members experienced a good first half. Delays in the supply chain and internal organizational challenges have been overcome quite good.
Wenko Süptitz: Our photonics companies have adapted quickly to the new situation. New demand in analytical and medical technologies created new demand. Where the product portfolio has not fit to the new requirements, companies to favor of special government programs the bridge the economic gap.
SPECTARIS has been in high demand as information provider of information of special programs and opportunities. A new matchmaking database links companies that offer or require special solutions to build new equipment to fight the COVID pandemic.
CIOE: Do you see any difference between Germany’s and China’s optoelectronic industry?
Wenko Süptitz: China has been experted in manufacturing of large quantities for many years taking the lead in photonics areas like LEDs, semiconductor lasers, flat panels display photovoltaics etc. Germany is especially strong in photonics solutions for manufacturing, medical technologies and measurement technologies.
Thomas Bauer: The majority of German photonics companies are small and medium sized enterprises not having more than 500 employees. Nevertheless, they develop and produce innovative high-quality products being used in the most advanced companies worldwide. The difference lies in the production volume, German photonic companies also may have a higher R&D quote even though they are far smaller.
CIOE: Can you please tell us about Photonics Germany?
Wenko Süptitz: Photonics technology from Germany is worldwide known as being absolutely high quality developed by highly skilled engineers mostly working in many small and medium sized companies. This variety goes along with a several of well-established German trade associations. Among them are SPECTARIS on the national level and OptecNet – the umbrella organization of the regional photonics networks.
Thomas Bauer: To underline the origin and the standard our companies and institutes set, we needed a common brand to promote our companies internationally and to team up on behalf of our industry on a German national level. Furthermore, we are now able to organize joint events like we had with you at CIOE in September. Thanks again for this opportunity.
CIOE: We were very happy about your participation in CIOE 2020. How did you experience the show from your perspective?
Thomas Bauer: Despite the fact that nobody was able to travel to Shenzhen because of COVID this year, we were thrilled by the opportunity to exhibit and organize the German pavilion and the 1st Photonics Conference. This only was possible with Chinese partners like you and SINOLUMINA.
Wenko Süptitz: In cooperation with the German government, SPECTARIS has brought German photonics companies to the CIOE for many years. We are glad that even in the difficult year 2020 we could ensure that the German Pavilion opened its doors to the visitors of the CIOE – this time with the special support of the Chinese subsidiaries and distributors.
CIOE: What were key technologies your companies presented?
Thomas Bauer: In 2020 at CIOE we had several companies with us being frontrunners in sensing technology, like Micro-Hybrid Electronic or Senorics. Also, members of us being active in fiber optics, like FBGS or in fields of advanced photonics manufacturing, like ficontec or Finetech were at our event in Shenzhen.
Wenko Süptitz: Germany also is famous for outstanding precision-measurement technology and microtechnology, so we were proud of Instrument Systems Optische Messtechnik or ASM Amicra who presented at the show.
CIOE: Which challenges are German photonics companies facing regarding their relationships with the Chinese market and how can we as CIOE support to solve them?
Wenko Süptitz: Sales channels are shifting in the course of the pandemic. Most likely it will stay that way to some larger extend. To give an example: In the past, a couple of personal meetings had been a mandatory precondition to get in business with Asia. Now, video conferences have got more accepted even in Asia. A welcome addition to the existing sales channels – making the processes more efficient and faster. The challenge of trade-fair organizers is to combine in-person and remote meetings in an efficient and for the partners attractive way.
Thomas Bauer: Language and culture and also getting an idea who is really interested can be quite hard. CIOE was very welcoming and supportive with our partner which was the start for a trustful relation. Matchmaking events with meaningful contacts and individual surveys ahead of the show could be an idea.
CIOE: We are very much looking forward to having you again at CIOE 2021. Can you give us a little preview for your participation?
Wenko Süptitz: The CIOE organizers did an excellent job to run the CIOE 2020 in the middle of the pandemic. This give us good arguments to get support for the German Pavilion at CIOE in 2021 again. We hope for even more exhibitors and are very positive to be there in person as well.
Thomas Bauer: We are planning to extend our conference, meaning to have a whole day and parallel sessions on advanced technological topics.
Dr. Wenko Süptitz
Head of Photonics Division of SPECTARIS
SPECTARIS is the German industry association for the hightech medium-sized business sector and representative body in the areas of medical technology, consumer optics, analytical, bio and laboratory technology as well as photonics. Innovation and growth characterize the different industry sectors and their 300,000 strong workforce. Technologies developed here are used in almost all branches of industry, making them an important motor for the German economy.
Chairman of OptecNet
OptecNet is the federal association of seven regional optical technology innovation networks in Germany. They are committed to supporting international activities across geographic boundaries, such as international cooperation, technology transfer and innovation promotion, talent export and PR matters at the national level.
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