Up to three South Australian-based companies will share in $30,000 as part of a broader strategy to develop the state as a globally recognised centre for photonics expertise.

The Photonics Industry Development Pilot Program (PIDPP)will assist local photonics businesses, most of which are micro-businesses with limited expertise, to successfully bid for venture capital and other funding sources.

Support will include global market plan development including in-depth market analysis, business case development and introductions to potential global customers.

Photonics businesses are invited to submit applications, which will be reviewed by an independent assessment panel. Applications are open now and close Friday 10 March 2017.

A report commissioned by the government and released last week, Lighting the Way, Global Opportunities for the Photonics Industry in South Australia (PDF), found South Australian businesses are well placed to tap into the global photonics industry, reported to be worth US$500 billion and forecast to grow to US$600 billion by 2020.

Photonics is the use of light-based technologies in devices such as lasers, sensors and optical fibres, used in a number of sectors in South Australia including the resources, medical, defence, food and environmental industries.

The South Australian Government has supported the development of the photonics industry since 2013, with the establishment of the Photonics Catalyst Program which supported the development of innovative photonics products through collaborations between industry and researchers.

Manufacturing and Innovation Minister Kyam Maher said the funding will support further development of this emerging industry in the state.

“We are now at the precipice of an incredible opportunity to become a world leader in the $500 billion photonics industry, which would deliver jobs of the future and economic benefits to the people of South Australia,” he said.

“By assisting these businesses, we are laying the foundations for them to become internationally competitive and bring their technologies to the market.”

For more information, see Photonics Industry Development Pilot Program (PIDPP)