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Network legacy: Canadian Institute of Photonic Innovations

Funded 1999-2013

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Photonics industry builds new consortium from CIPI’s successes

Founding members of CPIC (from left): Pierre Galarneau, INO; Dan Gale, CMC Microsystems; Stephane Lessard, Ericsson Canada; Chantal Abou Debs, Networks of Centres of Excellence; Robert Corriveau, CPIC; Fadila Zhelkaoui, PhasOptx; Barry Vuong, Ryerson University; Sylvain Charbonneau, National Research Council Canada; Soheil Asgarpour, Petroleum Technology Alliance of Canada; Ghislain Lafrance, TeraXion; Douglas J. James, CPIC Chair; and Frank Haran, Honeywell Canada.

Founding members of the Canadian Photonic Industry Consortium (from left): Pierre Galarneau, INO; Dan Gale, CMC Microsystems; Stephane Lessard, Ericsson Canada; Chantal Abou Debs, Networks of Centres of Excellence; Robert Corriveau, CPIC; Fadila Zhelkaoui, PhasOptx; Barry Vuong, Ryerson University; Sylvain Charbonneau, National Research Council Canada; Soheil Asgarpour, Petroleum Technology Alliance of Canada; Ghislain Lafrance, TeraXion; Douglas J. James, CPIC Chair; and Frank Haran, Honeywell Canada. Photo: CPIC

The opportunity:

Over its 14 years as an NCE, the Canadian Institute of Photonic Innovations (CIPI) brought together thousands of researchers, graduate students, companies and other partners to create the country’s first national photonics research and training network. Just after CIPI’s mandate ended in March 2012, a new industry-led consortium was created to sustain and build on those relationships by developing closer ties between photonics producers and potential customers worldwide.

How industry responded:

Led by industry heavyweights such as the Petroleum Technology Alliance of Canada, Honeywell Canada and Ericsson Canada, CIPI merged with the Canadian Photonics Consortium to create the new Canadian Photonic Industry Consortium. The NCE provided one year of transition funding to kickstart CPIC, and membership fees will sustain it over the long-term.

With a primary focus on networking and knowledge exchange, CPIC is helping Canadian photonics companies gain access to financing, expert knowledge, new technologies and global markets. A committee of academic and industry scientists is vetting grant applications to the Natural Sciences and Engineering and Research Council to strengthen the chances of academic-industry projects being funded and research being commercialized. CPIC links industry needs with opportunities in six key industry sectors: communications; energy and lighting; life sciences and health care; defence and security; transport; and manufacturing. It has already held workshops on silicon photonics with key players from Canada, the U.S., Europe and Asia, and is developing a roadmap and action plan that will meet the future needs of Canadian industry.

"Silicon photonics needs to get into the microelectronics sector to offer more complete solutions to customers. Industry needs silicon photonics. Demonstrate it to them and they will buy it."
Robert Corriveau, CPIC's president and executive director.

What suppliers and customers are saying:

“As we strive to help Canada become a global hydrocarbon energy leader, CPIC will enable us to engage photonics experts, and explore how these technologies could address some of the key challenges facing this sector. These future applications will promote greater innovation, thereby delivering benefits to technology providers and end users while helping sustainable development of Canada’s world class hydrocarbon resources.”
Dr. Soheil Asgarpour, President, Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada

“With support from the CIPI in 2010, we developed a novel laser targeted to oil and gas companies. It uses light to detect, monitor and measure hazardous gases, and generated the data required to guide corrective action and improve the safety of this sector. With several purchase orders in the pipeline, we now aim to broaden our market reach and build a global business. CPIC’s networking and knowledge exchange will help us to identify and establish relationships with future customers in multiple sectors.”
Dr. John Tulip, Technical Director, Boreal Laser, Edmonton