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Program to push photonics beyond telecommunications sector


Quebec City, QC – With Canadian university researchers on the cutting edge of photonics development worldwide, the Canadian Institute for Photonic Innovations (CIPI) has launched a new program to help a broad spectrum of industry sectors benefit from photonic solutions spun out of university laboratories across the country.

The Innovative Photonic Applications (IPA) program will bring together university researchers, technology implementers and end-users in targeted projects where advanced photonic technologies will be put to use to solve specific end-user problems thereby increasing efficiency, productivity and profitability.

CIPI is organizing workshops for targeted industrial sectors that will serve to identify problem areas and educate end-user sectors on the possible impact areas of photonics. Following these workshops, new projects will be initiated with the goal of improving productivity and increasing competitiveness of end-users while facilitating the transfer of exploitable technologies to Canadian-based partner companies who stand to reap substantial financial benefits from successful project outcomes.

The first project is already under way. It involves an aerospace company and researchers in two Quebec universities. While still in its early stages, the project is already showing promising results. “The researchers that have responded to our call have proposed various methods of solving this company’s problem”, says Robert Corriveau, CIPI president and CEO. “It is now up to the company to decide which one seems the most feasible in terms of cost and timeline.”

CIPI is confident that the program will stimulate the implementation of photonic technologies in all major industrial sectors in Canada, not only in telecommunications that has been photonics’ main receptor up to now, but also in natural resources, manufacturing, food and agriculture, transportation and pharmaceuticals. The potential payoff of these new projects is expected to greatly exceed funds expended in developing solutions, giving the federal government, which funds CIPI, a great return on its research investment dollars.