Ontario Centres Of Excellence Inc.

Ontario Centres Of Excellence Inc.

May 12, 2009 07:30 ET

New Twist on Making LCD Screens Earns WDI OCE's Mind to Market Award

Top Asian manufacturers already competing to use Markham company's LCD technology

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 12, 2009) - A Markham company that has captured the attention of major electronics manufacturers in Asia due to its money-saving potential in making LCDs has won the 2009 Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Mind to Market Award.

Wise Device Inc. (WDI), along with its research partners from the University of Toronto, were presented with the award at Discovery 09 - OCE's annual conference, for its innovative technology that allows manufacturers to produce LCD screens for less.

Sponsored by the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS), the Mind to Market Award celebrates the best OCE-supported commercially successful collaboration between research and industry partners.

"We're honoured to receive this award and I'm so appreciative that innovation is being recognized in Ontario," said WDI's President, Dr. Adam Weiss. "This brings much-needed attention to the fact that high-tech companies and innovation are major contributors to Ontario's and Canada's economic engine."

WDI is poised to capitalize on the fast growing global market of LCD screens. Despite the global economic downturn, this market is expected to make substantial gains in 2009. WDI's solutions speed up the inspection and repair of LCD screens during the manufacturing process, so companies can expect lower operation costs and a 25 per cent improvement in productivity. For consumers, that translates into less expensive computer monitors and LCD televisions.

WDI has already captured the attention of major Asian electronics manufacturers such as Samsung, LG and Sharp. In fact, Asian companies account for 96 per cent of WDI's sales that have topped $5 million. Ironically, Dr. Weiss hopes the Mind to Market award and the exposure of its connection with OCE will generate attention closer to home.

The breakthrough laser and optics technologies were brought together by matching WDI's expertise in defining the industry needs and potential markets with targeted research conducted at UofT's Institute for Optical Sciences and at the research facilities of UofT spin-off laser company, Attodyne Inc.

"OCE was critical to the entire partnering process," said Dr. Shujie Lin, a senior scientist with the Institute for Optical Sciences. "From starting the relationship with WDI, to funding our research in a timely manner, all the way through to marketing and commercialization - without OCE there would not have been a commercially-viable technology."

"This successful collaboration exemplifies what happens when you combine the entrepreneurial spirit and imagination of Ontario companies, with the creative brilliance of our academic researchers," said OCE President and CEO, Mark Romoff who was part of the Mind to Market judging panel of leading minds from science and commerce. "WDI represents the new face of Ontario technology companies: built on partnerships and possessing a solid strategy to compete globally."

For Dr. Weiss, the award is also proof that his decision to push a significant amount of revenue towards innovation and new product development since the company's creation in 2005, was the right move.

"Innovation is what keeps us afloat in these difficult times," said Dr. Weiss. "Only by introducing innovation and improvements can we stay ahead of the competition." Following that philosophy, Dr. Weiss and WDI plan to expand their technology to the solar panel market. Mirroring LCDs, WDI's technology could again reduce manufacturing costs and accelerate the adoption of solar panels, making them a more cost-effective solution for industries wanting to boost their clean energy portfolio.

About the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Inc. (www.oce-ontario.org)

Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Inc. drives the commercialization of cutting-edge research across key market sectors to build the economy of tomorrow and secure Ontario's global competitiveness. In doing this, OCE fosters the training and development of the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs and is a key partner with Ontario's industry, universities, colleges, research hospitals, investors and governments. OCE's Centres work in communications and information technology, earth and environmental technologies, energy, materials and manufacturing and photonics. OCE is funded by the government of Ontario and is a key partner in delivering Ontario's Innovation Agenda.

About Wise Device Inc. (WDI) (www.wdidevice.com)

WDI, a technology based company, was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in Ontario Canada. WDI is a leader in development of innovative industrial microscopy equipment and accessories for automated optical inspection, defects review and laser micro machining. WDI's microscopy equipment contributes to the productivity and high yield of practically all the large LCD flat panel display fabrication lines. With the recent expansion of WDI's technology base into pico-second laser applications, WDI expanded its market to the semiconductor wafer, solar cell processing and biomedical field. WDI markets its products through agents and OEM partners in Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China, the US and Europe.

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