UK Photonics Resilience Continues into the Autumn

The latest analysis of the PLG’s autumn survey of the impact of Covid-19 on photonics and acoustics industries shows UK photonics continues to be highly resilient with 93% of companies operating at,or above 75% of pre-Covid-19 capacity, with 16% operating at above March 2020 levels. Whilst some companies identify some continuing difficulties in the supply chain and order pipeline, more than 20% report no significant ongoing issues in these areas.

The future outlook is also robust with the majority of companies forecasting flat or growing revenues in the coming year and 86% indicating their product development plans will either be unaffected or increase, with no noticeable impact on peoples appetite to participate in collaborative R&D.

The strongly export focused nature of the UK’s £13.5bn photonics industry is underlined by more than 70% of companies indicating they will export over 70% of their output. Indeed more than 40% of UK photonics companies report they will export over 90% of their output in 2021, with no significant impact from Covid-19

Covid-19 impact in the research community is higher. Over photonics and acoustics only one quarter of academic respondents indicated they have 75% or greater access to their research facilities and a further quarter that they have less than 10% access. Whilst the situation varies significantly between Universities and facility access is only one factor in advancing research, it is difficult for research to make-up for lost time. The PLG therefore encourage all institutes to ensure researchers have the access they need to experimental facilities to keep UK science advancing at the cutting edge of global knowledge.

Full analysis of the autumn survey of the Impact of Covid-19 on the Acoustics and Photonics industries in the UK is available. This can be contrasted to the Spring Covid-19 survey results previously published. For enquiries please contact the PLG.

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