Summary of our market study

The French market for microscopes is estimated at €90 million.

The global microscopy market, valued at around US$6.5 billion in 2020, is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.6% to probably reach around US$9.0 billion by 2026.

In 2020, the European market sector accounted for 1.58 billion euros.

The French market is renowned for its innovative contributions to microscopy, although it is less involved in manufacturing, with major research centers in Toulouse and Strasbourg.

Microscopy manufacturers and distributors dominate the market with Zeiss, Nikon, Olympus and Danaher. They are pushing back the boundaries of innovation with advances such as 3D imaging, artificial intelligence and lens-free microscopy.

Trends in the French microscopy market

The French microscopy market is heavily dependent on imports, with domestic production playing only a minor role.

Microscopes are essential tools in many sectors, including scientific research, medicine, various industries and education.

In France, domestic market consumption can be estimated by taking the value of microscope imports, which was around 138.5 million in 2021, and deducting the value of exports, which was around 138.5 million in 2021.deducting the value of exports, which stood at around 51.1 million, gives an estimated domestic consumption of between 85 and 90 million.

Nanotechnology and biotechnology play a significant role in this market. These booming fields are driving demand for microscopes.

Microscope types and prices vary considerably. While toy microscopes can be purchased for as little as 10 euros, top-of-the-range devices, such as Thermo Fisher Scientific's Titan Kryos, can exceed 5 million euros.

Imports of electron microscopes are on the increase, accounting for around 50% of total imports. Imports come mainly from Germany, Japan and the USA.

Market players

  • German giant Zeiss has long been synonymous with precision optics.

  • Nikon, the Japanese titan known for its cameras, also extends its expertise to the field of microscopy.

  • Olympus: Olympus microscopes are renowned for their sophisticated imaging technologies that meet demanding scientific and medical tasks.

  • Danaher, with its subsidiary Leica Microsystems, is an American conglomerate offering a diverse range of analytical instruments and technologies, including state-of-the-art microscopes.

  • In the retail sector, we find Fnac-Darty,

  • Microscopie et Services and Le Laborantin in France are specialized distributors offering a tailor-made selection of microscopes and accessories for educational establishments, research laboratories and industry professionals.

  • General e-commerce platforms such as Amazon and Cdiscount offer microscopes in their catalogs for both occasional amateurs and professionals.

  • pure-players specializing in microscopes and microscopy accessories.

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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Presentation and definition of the microscope market

A microscope is an observation device used to obtain an enlarged image of a small object. There are three main types of microscope: optical microscopes, electron microscopes and local probe microscopes. Other types of microscope, such as ion microscopes, are also available on the market.

Microscopes have a wide range of applications: they are used for teaching, training, laboratory work and cutting-edge research in fields as diverse as biology and life sciences (cytology), medicine (pathology, detection of pathogens, etc.) and medicine (diagnosis of diseases, etc.).(pathology, disease detection) and electronics (semiconductors, data storage), which are the main outlets for microscope production in France.

The microscope market is also part of the optics-photonics sector, and more specifically instrumental optics, one of whose applications is the imaging and vision sector, which includes microscopes, telescopes, periscopes and endoscopes. Optics refers to the study of the electromagnetic spectrum, and photonics to the manipulation of photon flows. Optics-photonics therefore involves using light rays to achieve a specific objective (magnification, measurement, etc.)

The development of more technologically advanced microscopes, enabling faster, more precise performance, as well as the emergence of new microscopy techniques, should boost demand for microscopes over the next few years. Advances in the integration of high-definition (HD ) and three-dimensional (3D ) images into display modalities should further boost demand. Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) in imaging equipment are one of the main factors that can positively impact market dynamics.

However, the high cost of the most technologically advanced microscopes, such as electron microscopes, and complex notions of how to operate and maintain them, can hold back growth in the microscopy devices market. What's more, the manufacture of these advanced technology microscopes requires considerable investment and IT pre-configuration work, from the creation of an effective user interface to advanced software and device maintenance.

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Size of the global microscopy market
  • Value of miscroscope exports
  • Value of microscope imports
  • Structure of imports by type of microscope
  • Export structure by microscope type
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Latest news

In Besançon, surface analysis specialist Digital Surf is recruiting - 28/03/2024

- Year Digital Surf was founded: 1989 - Its Mountains software for microscopic surface analysis is used by manufacturers of smartphones, sports equipment, cars and many other everyday objects to check their appearance, quality and functionality - 50 microscope manufacturers use Mountains software - Release of Mountains version 10: 2023 - More than 50 microscope manufacturers use Mountains software. - Sales forecast for 2023-2024: over 6 million euros. - International sales: 90% - Average annual growth rate since 2000: over 10% - Number of employees: over 50

Scalinx: The awakening of French semiconductor start-ups - 10/01/2024
  • Start-up Scalinx recently raised €34 million in funding.
  • European investment in semiconductors now totals 100 billion euros.
  • Start-up SiPearl raised 90 million euros in 2023.
  • Start-up GreenWaves Technologies raised €20 million in its latest round of financing.
  • Three major companies have been identified in the French Tech semiconductor sector: Scalinx, Kalray and SiPearl.
Online commerce: French websites threatened by new rivals - 17/11/2023
  • Cdiscount is now in sixth position among the most visited e-commerce sites according to the Médiamétrie barometer.
  • FNAC is in ninth place among the most visited e-commerce sites.
  • E.Leclerc is now in fifth place and Carrefour in eighth.
  • The Chinese sites Shein, Temu and AliExpress enter and approach the Top 10 with ranks of 10th, 11th and 12th respectively.
  • Online sales are up 30% on 2019, according to the Fédération de l'e-commerce et de la vente à distance (Fevad).
  • FNAC Darty's figures show a 1.8% drop in online and in-store sales over the first nine months of the year.
  • Companies like Cdiscount stop loss-making promotional sales
  • ManoMano cuts a quarter of its workforce.
Cdiscount, the French champion that must change its business model in the midst of the Casino storm - 17/11/2023
  • Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky and Casinotake over French e-commerce champion
  • In the third quarter, sales volume plunged by 13.5% year-on-year, to 667 million euros, and direct sales (products bought and resold by the site, as opposed to sales by third-party merchants present on its marketplace) by 35%.
  • At the end of the first half-year, Cdiscount posted a net loss of 47 million euros
  • The marketplace hosts third-party merchants, charges a commission of 7% to 15% on each order, and sells logistics services and advertising.
  • Cdiscount relies entirely on its marketplace.
  • The marketplace generates 63% of business volume, compared with 55% a year ago. The aim is to reach 70%. This is the model used by Polish e-tailer Allegro.
  • Cdiscount ranks sixth among the most visited sites.
  • The 1,600 third-party merchants maintain a broad offering of 80 million items.
  • Revenues from subsidiary Octopia, Mirakl's competitor which sells solutions for creating marketplaces, rose by 54%
  • The C-Logistics subsidiary increased its number of external customers by a factor of 6.
Fnac Darty's takeover of Cdiscount may be dead in the water - 30/10/2023
  • Cdiscount sales down 25% on last year
  • Cdiscount direct sales down 35%
  • Fnac Darty offered to buy Cdiscount for 500 million euros two years ago
Zeiss invests 33 million euros in the extension of its Périgny plant - 03/02/2023
  • 33 million euro investment to extend Zeiss Périgny plant
  • 14,000 m2 building under construction
  • First extension in 2020: 8 million euros
  • 2,000 m2 of office space in the new building
  • Extension will create over 300 jobs
  • Work to start in January 2023
  • Handover scheduled for January 2025

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Carl Zeiss Group
Cdiscount (CNova)
Leica Camera
Kern & Sohn

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