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$43M integrated photonics prototyping and fabrication facility opens doors


Ottawa, ON – The NRC Canadian Photonics Fabrication Centre (NRC-CPFC) recently opened in Ottawa.

Photonics has a wide range of applications, primarily in the information technology sector, but is also enabling growth in many other sectors of the economy, revolutionizing technologies used in the transportation, health, environment, energy, security, defense, and consumer electronics industries.

“NRC has tremendous confidence in the future of photonics research and sees market opportunities in the many billions of dollars, reaching across a wide range of industrial and social interests," says Dr. Pierre Coulombe, president of the NRC. "This facility is an excellent example of what Canada is doing to bridge the gap between research and commercialization."

The $43-million facility is a partnership between NRC and Carleton University to support growth of the Canadian photonics sector. It offers companies, universities, and other institutions access to fabrication services to develop leading edge photonic devices. The federal and Ontario governments contributed $30 million and $13 million, respectively, to the capital cost of the building and leading edge equipment. NRC will assume the operating costs of the new facility. The centre is located at the NRC laboratories in Ottawa to take advantage of the Council’s extensive research expertise, facilities and networks.

The centre is the only facility of its kind in Canada. By helping to reduce time to market, the NRC-CPFC will provide Canadian companies with a competitive edge in global markets. Examples of applications of photonics include fibre-optic communication systems, new solid state lighting for the automotive industry, flat-panel computer displays, optical disc information storage (CD and DVD), optical sensors, medical diagnostics and imaging, optical interconnects, illumination systems and laser printers.