Photonics 21 and NPI have recognized Photonics as one of the Key Enabling Technologies for the 21st Century. What is a Key Enabling Technology? A Key Enabling Technology is a lead driver of innovation that through rapid development lead to the discovery of subsequent technologies in wide variety of scientific fields. Photonics discoveries commonly become GPTs (General Purpose Technologies). These are technologies that aren’t always final products but instead technologies that help to enable the development of even more new technologies.
Photonics is becoming a major innovator in the field of manufacturing. The development of new photonic technologies manufacturing leads to innovation such as lightweight construction, hybrid materials, mass customization or rapid manufacturing. These photonic technologies can also become products themselves. Some products include bio medical instrumentation, cameras and brand new synthesized materials.