India is a huge market for both electronics as well as photonics engineered services. There is a huge demand for photonics devices however there lies a huge gap in supply. Presently available photonic equipments are costly as they are imported and are sold under the banner of big names. In addition to that, the educational system does not provide any specific training in photonics to the great number of engineering students.
Photonics in India
On the whole, India’s photonics companies are located around universities and research institutes, which are in Bangalore, Cochin and Hyderabad, all in southern India. However, those organizations face a poor political recognition of photonics and a weak national policy with regard to innovation clusters and technology platforms in particular. The national landscape is consequently too fragmented for photonics.
With only about 24 photonics companies in the country, employing about 200 engineers and between 800 and 1000 technicians/operators, jobs still are limited in the industry. Large investments are requested to bring photonics to a higher level, even if some challenges will remain in the long term (e.g. the competition with Chinese vendors that already have a good knowledge and expertise).
The main mission of the Indian Photonics Cluster is to take the research level in photonics at the highest point, by filling the gap between India and countries already advanced in that domain (USA, Europe and East Asia).
First, the cluster will focus on fostering the education in photonics in India. The route of education is a priority if all the stakeholders want to remain competitive on a global basis. India needs high quality and skilled workforce to catch up with developed photonics countries.
- Structure the Indian Photonics industry
- Foster the business development of photonics companies in India
- Create an innovation centre to add technological value and support them in their scientific projects
- Coordinate and develop Indian photonics internationally
The Indian photonics cluster will differentiate itself from the foreign existing cluster by attracting foreign companies as well as trying to develop photonics research and manufacturing in India. The concentration of its activities will be the main strength of the network.