Montana photonics industry goes global

Ten photonics companies from Bozeman, including seven sponsored in-part by the Montana Department of Commerce, will showcase their products to potential customers from more than 70 countries June 26-29 at the Laser World of Photonics in Munich.

Photonics, also known as optics, is the use of light in technology. Practical applications may include laser surgery, fiber-optic communications, and consumer electronics.

“The photonics industry is such a success story for Montana because it’s a great place to do business,” Commerce Director Pam Haxby-Cote said. “Many of the 30-plus optics companies in Bozeman have chosen Montana not only for our competitive business climate, but also for the quality of life you can’t find anywhere else.”

Per capita, Bozeman has one of the highest densities of photonics companies anywhere in the United States. The American Jobs Initiative, a nonprofit organization dedicated to U.S. economic growth through advanced industries, recently released a report identifying the potential for Montana’s optics industry to grow even stronger.

“Montana is well positioned to benefit from rising global demand for photonics,”the report states, citing Montana’s affordable cost of living and quality of life. “With forward-thinking policies, Montana’s photonics industry can support over 6,300 direct, indirect and induced jobs annually through 2030. These jobs will spark local job growth and economic development as employees spend their earnings in the local economy.”

Many of the companies participating in the tradeshow already export domestically, but it represents an opportunity to expand into international markets.

The Office of Trade and International Relations at Commerce is organizing the trip for seven of the 10 companies, which will share a Montana-branded pavilion on the show floor. Through a federal trade assistance program, Commerce is covering their tradeshow booth expenses and providing a travel stipend. The three other companies will be there individually.

Participating at the tradeshow will be: Resonon, Agile Focus Design, Lattice Materials, Revibro Optics, AdvR, Laser Lab Source, Ascent Vision Technologies, Quantel USA, Altos Photonics and Scientific Materials Corporation. All the businesses are located in Bozeman.



Where is your favorite place to go camping in Central Montana?