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Jun 13th, 2012
Canada sets up industry-led photonics consortium
Merger of two existing networks seeks to accelerate adoption of photonics technologies, and starts out with ten members.
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Two groups representing photonics in Canada have merged to form a new, industry-led consortium focused on the needs of the 450 companies that make up the country’s photonics sector. Based in Quebec City, the Canadian Photonic Industry Consortium (CPIC), officially up and running since the start of April, brings together the former Canadian Institute for Photonic Innovations (CIPI) and the Canadian Photonics Consortium (CPC). Robert Corriveau, previously in charge of CIPI, founded the new group and will act as its CEO and president. So far, CPIC has ten inaugural members, ranging from industrial heavyweights to government institutions and SMEs. “CPIC aims to provide Canadian photonics companies with an edge over competitors around the world,” Corriveau said. “We aim to help these firms fully capitalize on every facet of our national photonics innovation system.”

According to figures from CPIC, Canada’s 450 photonics-based companies together employ more than 20,000 people, and contributed C$4.4 billion to the Canadian economy in 2008. Since then, three-quarters of those firms have reported further growth in revenues, with more than half said to have increased their workforces. Over its 14-year tenure, CIPI also invested more than C$50 million in industry-led research projects, while last year Canada's National Optics Institute (INO), also in Quebec City, landed C$45 million for industrial optics and photonics development.

CPIC says that it will help Canadian photonics companies gain access to financing, new technologies and specialist knowledge, while its first priority will be to connect them with prospective customers operating within six key industry sectors. Those sectors are: communications (where Canada historically boasted a very strong presence through Nortel Networks and JDSU); energy and lighting; life sciences and health care; defense and security; transport; and manufacturing.

To read more, go to:  http://optics.org/news/3/6/11



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