National Research Council Canada-NRC

National Research Council Canada-NRC

November 10, 2005 10:37 ET

NRC Links Photonic Partners to Create International Commercialization Alliance

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 10, 2005) - The International Photonics Commercialization Alliance (IPCA) was officially announced today in Boston at the 9th Annual Executive Symposium on Emerging Business Opportunities in Photonics. This North American alliance was created to provide links between Canadian and American photonic organizations. Dr. Pierre Coulombe, President of the National Research Council Canada, Mr. David R. Smith, CEO of Infotonics Technology Center in New York state and Dr. Donald Fraser, Director of Boston University's Photonics Center, made the announcement.

The mission of the IPCA is to provide leadership and support internationally for the commercialization of photonic technologies. The IPCA will offer its members assistance in all aspects of commercialization and will cultivate an environment where entrepreneurs, investors and researchers can exchange ideas.

"The IPCA underlines NRC's commitment to promoting Canadian industrial innovation," said Dr. Coulombe. "Clustering initiatives of this type greatly increase the number of commercial opportunities for firms, and contributes to regional economic growth. The Alliance will improve time-to-market while minimizing costs of commercializing photonic technology."

With the support of Canadian Consulates in Buffalo, NY and in Boston, MA the Alliance will open doors for Canadian and American firms wanting to benefit from the expertise and tools of their international partners. The concept of this alliance has been endorsed and championed by the Canadian Photonics Consortium (CPC) as well as the Optoelectronic Industry Development Association (OIDA) of the US.

"It is sure to aid companies involved in research and development, who wish to commercialize ideas and create next generation photonic devices," said Dr. Fraser.

IPCA was spearheaded by the NRC's Canadian Photonics Fabrication Centre (CPFC) in an effort to facilitate the commercialization of photonic opportunities and help strengthen members' capacity to innovate and compete in today's global market. Funding provided by The Government of Canada's Enhanced Representation Initiative (ERI) will support the operations of the Alliance.

David R. Smith, CEO of Infotonics Technology Center, one of the founding members of the IPCA added, "Building effective international market intelligence, raising awareness of diverse facilities, cultivating new opportunities, and collaborative research and manufacturing partnerships will lead to economic growth and job creation". By creating an expanded international photonics cluster involving Ottawa-Toronto, Rochester-Boston, and Montreal-Quebec City, the IPCA hopes to internationally link clusters, companies, and technology commercialization centres.

Current stakeholders of the IPCA are

From Canada:

CPFC (National Research Council Canada)
Canadian Photonics Consortium (CPC)
CMC Microsystems
Canadian Institute for Photonics Innovation (CIPI)
Photonics Research Ontario (PRO)
Reseau photonique du Quebec
INO (National Optics Institute)
Ottawa Photonics Cluster (OPC)
Ontario Photonics Technology Industry Cluster (OPTIC)

From the USA:

Infotonics Technology Center (New York)
Photonics Center of Boston University
Optoelectronics Industry Development Association (OIDA)
New England Fiberoptic Council
New York
Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster (RRPC)

About Infotonics Technology Center Inc. (

The Infotonics Technology Center Inc. (the Center) is a collaborative, industry-led microsystems R&D centre that will drive economic growth and create high-technology businesses from its position as a world-leader in photonics and microsystems innovation and commercialization. The Center was formed by Eastman Kodak Company, Corning, Inc., and Xerox Corporation as a not-for-profit corporation to operate New York State's Center of Excellence in Photonics and Microsystems. The Center is structured as a consortium of industry and universities. Custom process flow and technical expertise averaging over 20 years in industry enable our customers to develop and deliver innovative products at reduced risk and cost, accelerating MEMS to market. Infotonics can deliver complete solutions tailored to client needs and requirements for concept development, business development, prototyping, pilot production, low volume manufacturing.

About The Photonics Center at Boston University (

Based in Boston, Massachusetts, the Photonics Center at Boston University identifies and develops technologies based on the practical application of light. The Photonics Center hosts a Business Accelerator that enables emerging photonics technology companies to grow from idea to commercialization with greater speed and success. The Center provides an entrepreneurial environment that includes 20 laboratories, workspace for up to 12 start-up companies, and access to a range of equipment worth in excess of $40 million. To date the Center has started and/or accelerated 18 companies that have raised more than $225 million in outside venture capital and seed financing.

About NRC's CPFC (

The $43 million facility is a partnership between NRC and Carleton University to support growth of the Canadian photonics sector. It offers companies, universities, and other institutions access to fabrication services to develop leading edge photonic devices. The CPFC provides unique photonic device prototyping and design facilities for SMEs. These include III-V semiconductor compound and silicon-based photonic circuits for applications in fiber-optic communication systems, solid state lighting, optical sensors for the environment and security applications, medical diagnostics and imaging, optical interconnects, solar cells, and illumination systems. CPFC is located at the NRC research complex in Ottawa to take advantage of NRC's extensive research expertise, facilities and networks.

About NRC: (

Recognized globally for research and innovation, Canada's National Research Council (NRC) is a leader in the development of an innovative, knowledge-based economy for Canada through science and technology.

For more information, please visit NRC's Web site at ,

Contact Information

  • National Research Council Canada (NRC)
    Jim Frappier
    Business Development Officer - NRC-CPFC
    (613) 991-1143
    Infotonics Technology Center
    Pam Sims
    Business Development
    (585) 919-3004
    Boston University Photonics Center
    Dr. Cliff Robinson
    Assistant Director
    (617) 353-8899