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Launch of CPIC Report

15-02-2016

On the picture: Dr Douglas James, Chair of the CPIC Board presents the CPIC report at a reception organized by SPIE at Photonics West 2016.

Press release

Light-Based Technologies, a Strategic Asset in Bolstering Canada's Economy

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 15, 2016  - Canada's major industrial sectors would gain substantially from the enormous potential of home-grown photonic technologies to improve their productivity, profitability and competitiveness. According to a report released today by the Canadian Photonic Industry Consortium (CPIC) at Photonics West 2016, the world's largest gathering of photonic researchers, product manufacturers and service providers, Canada needs to act fast in order to establish a sound strategy to accelerate the uptake of light-based technology or else face the inevitable consequence of having to play catch-up with the rest of the industrialized world.

Photonic technologies use light to perform functions at astonishing speed and with exquisite precision thereby replacing electronics in countless applications. For decades, Canada has played a major role in the development of photonics better known for having spawned technologies such as the laser and optical fibres. Yet despite its $4.6 billion photonic industry growing at an average rate of 10% per year and employing over 25,000 people, Canada lags behind the US, Europe and Asia, in this promising industrial sector estimated at $CDN 650 billion worldwide. 

The report entitledLight Technologies, A Strategic Economic Asset, examines the status of photonics in Canada, its application in major sectors of the economy and the impact of training a highly qualified workforce in the area. It goes on to make recommendations on ways to improve Canada's standing in the photonics arena calling for programs and initiatives similar to those already implemented in other countries.

The report is the outcome of a Canada-wide study conducted in 2015 by CPIC which looked into photonic technologies of key economic importance to the country's major industries, namely aerospace, car manufacturing, communications, defence & security, energy, health, natural resources and pharmaceuticals. Workshops were held for each of these sectors with representatives from industry, academia and R&D centres, shedding light on opportunities and identifying potential end-users.

''There is little to no coordination of efforts to focus photonics on sectors of strategic importance to the country'', said CPIC President Robert Corriveau. ''Despite significant government investments of about $150 M annually in academic and public sector research, the economy is not benefitting as fully as it should. Funding mechanisms should allow industry to exercise greater influence over the orientation of projects to align objectives with emerging market trends.'' He continued by emphasizing that ''As the sector's consortium, CPIC is uniquely positioned, both in expertise and impartiality, to assist in providing an up-to-date, balanced view of, and influence on, all industrial sectors that could profit from integrating photonic technologies.''

For the full report, go to CPIC REPORT

About CPIC

CPIC, the Canadian Photonic Industry Consortium is a business-led photonics exchange organization embracing the whole value chain from researchers to photonic companies and end-users. Its mandate is to network end-users, photonic industries, universities and institutions with the objective of accelerating the growth of the Canadian industry through photonics.

 

For information
Robert Corriveau
President and Executive Director
Canadian Photonics Industry Consortium
Tel.: 418 656-3019
E-Mail: robert.corriveau@photonscanada.ca

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