The mission of the Canadian Photonic Industry Consortium, CPIC, is to assist Canadian companies to optimize operations and to improve profits by facilitating and accelerating the application of photonic technologies that improve quality, productivity and profitability.


On April 1st 2012, CIPI (Canadian Institute for Photonic Innovations) and CPC (Canadian photonic Consortium) has merged to create the Canadian Photonic Industry Consortium (CPIC also known as PhotonsCanada). 

CPIC is a Business-led photonics exchange organization with the objective of accelerating the growth of the Canadian industry through photonics.

CPIC's unique attributes are available to the entire industrial base, in providing expert and objective advice on how to best apply photonics to business and technology challenges, on who to work with in this exciting and valuable technology space, and on how to best leverage public support at the Federal, Provincial and local levels in such ventures.

With such photonic network of industries, R&D organizations and researchers, CPIC provides knowhow and rapid access to state-of-the-art global photonic technologies. As an efficient knowledge exchange organization, CPIC is the best vehicle for Canadian industry to manage information on the possibilities of photonic applications and to match industry needs with opportunities.

CIPI-Canadian Institute for Photonic Innovation

History: The Canadian Institute for Photonic Innovations (CIPI) was established in 1999 under the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) Program, a cornerstone of the Government of Canada's innovation strategy. The CIPI Network was the outcome of efforts from university investigators, representatives from the Canadian photonics industry and scientists in government research labs who strongly believed that the country would derive immense benefit from an institution committed to excellence in research, development and exploitation of photonic technologies, and to excellence in training the highly qualified people required to make sure the Canadian photonics industry will remain competitive in the international marketplace. The founding of CIPI was a fitting and timely recognition by the NCE Program of the growing strategic importance of the emerging photonics industry in this country.

CIPI's first funding cycle began April 1st, 1999 and ended March 31st, 2005. After fulfilling the requirements of the 2004 NCE renewal competition, CIPI launched its second phase on April 1st, 2005, to carry out its Research and Technology Exploitation & Networking and Innovative Photonic Applications Programs until 2012.

CIPI's Research Program brought together some of the best investigators in photonics in Canada. In an effort to promote cross-disciplinary interaction and total relevance to real-world requirements, CIPI only funded projects involving investigators in two or more universities and supported by external partners in industry, research institutions and government laboratories. This approach has stimulated new ideas, encouraged new researchers to join the network, provided greater interaction between university research teams and industrial counterparts and fostered collaboration between people with different backgrounds on scientific and technological issues of common interest. Projects are grouped according to these applications-based thrusts:

  • Frontier and Applied Photonics
  • Biophotonics
  • Information and Telecommunications

In 2002, CIPI implemented a Technology Exploitation and Networking program aimed at bridging the gap between university research outcomes and industrial applications and at providing forums where scientific knowledge is disseminated, exchanged and acquired. Since then, the program has supported new collaborations between researchers and industry, funded workshops and student exchanges and provided seed money for start-up companies spun off university research.

The CIPI Student Network (CIPI-S) was founded in 2002 with the mission of promoting interactions between students and providing opportunities for them to network with researchers and companies in order to stimulate photonic innovations in Canada. CIPI-S has been a most effective and refreshing addition to CIPI's operations. This group assists CIPI in achieving major goals in networking and training of HQP. Students have organized successful workshops, training activities and conferences in specific areas of photonics research.

Mission: To bring university researchers together with public sector and industrial partners in a network with state-of-the-art facilities in order to stimulate innovations in photonics, and to promote their exploitation to generate wealth and enhance the quality of life for Canadians.

Objectives were

  • to develop a national network for photonics research in Canada;
  • to increase world-class research conducted in Canada;
  • to encourage outstanding young researchers to study and work in Canada;
  • to increase the number of Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) in photonics;
  • to accelerate technology transfer of photonics research to industry;
  • to foster applications of photonics to achieve social goals , and
  • to increase job opportunities for students.

 Quick facts

  • Established in 1999, CIPI was incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in 2002.
  • It funded more than 500 projects.
  • Supporting every year an average of 110 investigators and 260 students in 26 universities
    Involved a total of 120 Premier Affiliates in the research projects
  • It has provided 2300 person-years of training.
  • IPI research has led to 15 start-ups of which 8 are still active.
  • Researchers have produced over 2950 publications and 138 patent


CPC-Canadian Photonic Consortium

Mission: The Canadian Photonics Consortium / Consortium photonique du Canada was the representative voice of the entire Canadian Photonics community. Our members included companies - large and small; academic institutions and consortia; as well as government laboratories and agencies - both federal and provincial. CPC was bringing together business, academic and government leaders. It involved scientists, engineers, and management consultants as well as experts in law and finance - anyone who had a business or scientific interest in the future success of the Canadian Photonics industry. CPC's vision was to establishCanadaas the place for business success in Optics and Photonics.

CPC was involved in the organization of Photonics North anf missions to Laser and Photonics West and published two reports on photonics in Canada called "Making Light Work for Canada" and "Illuminating a world of opportunities".

As a national cluster of clusters, the CPC represented over 400 member companies located within Canada's regional photonics clusters - British Columbia (Vancouver), Alberta (Edmonton), Ontario (Ottawa and the Greater Toronto Area), and Quebec (Montréal and Québec City). Its members came from a wide range of disciplines - anywhere photonics can be applied. Members benefit tremendously from the opportunity for cross-sectoral interaction. Industries represented included:

  • Telecommunications
  • Health Care and Life Sciences
  • Defense and Security
  • Environment
  • Industrial Manufacturing
  • Energy and Lighting

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