The global microscopes market is projected to reach nearly USD 7.4 billion by 2020. Key factors that drive the industry are technological innovations and surging private sector & government sector investments. Nanotechnology being a continuously evolving field has a favorable impact on overall market demand. Intensive R&D in life sciences & semiconductors is expected to fuel industry growth over the forecast period (2012 to 2020). Popularity of super resolution microscopes can be attributed to continuous technological innovations. Such microscopes are highly effective & convenient especially when it comes to examining complex human body parts, such as the neurological system & the brain.
Introduction of high resolution & cost effective microscopes, such as the dSTORM (direct stochastic optical reconstruction optical microscopy) may catapult demand till 2020. The microscopes market in most developing economies is driven by availability of cheap labor and favorable government policies. Interestingly, these factors fuel demand for semi-conductors and induce greater research in life sciences & nanotechnology.
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The worldwide microscopes market is categorized on the basis of products, applications, and geographies. As per products, the segments are optical, scanning probe, electron and others. Fueled by high adoption rates in life sciences & semiconductors and widespread applications, optical microscopes generated highest revenues in the overall market in 2013. These microscopes are further categorized into near field scanning, confocal scanning, fluorescence, phase contrast, stereomicroscope, inverted, and others. Inverted microscopes held the largest market share in 2013. Applications in metallurgy & micromanipulation could fuel demand for inverted microscopes. This segment is expected to grow robustly over the forecast period.
Based on applications, the global industry is divided into semiconductors, life sciences, nanotechnology, material sciences, and others. The market was led by the life sciences segment in 2013. Demand is mainly fueled by innovations in consumer electronics, and use of microscopes in manufacturing & inspection and in research & development. Newer areas of application, such as miniature transistor chips and quantum dots could drive the overall industry in the forthcoming years. Quantum dots is a gradually evolving technology that may cater to several application areas, like quantum computing, electroluminescent displays, diode lasers, biological imaging, photovoltaic cells, and transistors in the years to come.
Regional segments of the global microscopes market are Europe, Asia Pacific, North America, and Rest of the World. Asia Pacific dominated the overall industry in terms of revenue in 2013. In 2011, China witnessed the highest rate of funding in its nanotechnology industry globally. Industrialization coupled with use of nanotechnology in research & development may create lucrative opportunities for further growth of the global market.
Furthermore, demand for microscopes from noncommercial organizations (hospitals and research laboratories) can also play a significant role in triggering market progress. Companies operating in the global industry are Carl Zeiss, Olympus Corporation, Leica Microsystems, and Nikon Corporation. Since there are only a few participants, this market is characterized by minimal competition. It is essentially oligopolistic in nature.
Scientists from Uppsala University, Stockholm University, and University of California have created a 3D printed cell phone attachment that can turn a particular device’s camera into a microscope. Such an innovation aims at helping health workers in developing nations and in remote locations to identify genetic mutations that cause illnesses & diseases. With the help of such a device, healthcare professionals do not need to send samples to laboratories.