Dr. Michel Têtu, an emeritus professorfrom Université Laval in Québec City,“are the availability of highly qualifiedtechnical personnel, the presence ofworld-class research centers and institutesworking closely with industry, the proximity to key markets in the US and Canada,a dynamic business environment and astrong commitment from governments tosupport the industry.
Québec City, the provincial capital, hastaken special care to home in on photonicsin its quest to build a tech-centered creative economy.
Local economic development agencyPôle Québec Chaudière-Appalaches worksclosely with Montréal-based Investisse-ment Québec as well as area companiesand institutions to ensure the success ofphotonics-related endeavors. Pôle does itall, from facilitating the formation of research and business partnerships betweenlocal entities to hosting events and conferences to promoting the area as a desirablespot for expanding foreign companies.
Nonprofit photonics advancement groupQuébec Photonic Network (QPN), ofwhich Têtu also is president and CEO,serves as a networking and informationhub, working to bring together companies,government departments and organizationsinvolved in the area’s optics-photonicsindustry.
Pôle and the QPN have a big jobbecause there is so much going on withphotonics in Québec.
“We have a strong history in optics andphotonics research activities dating backto the late forties, Têtu said. Research centers strive to innovate at the basic researchand industrial levels; so do major companies such as test and measurement leader
Exfo, health science and optoelectronics
market powerhouse PerkinElmer, spec-
trometer maker ABB and laser beam test-
ing equipment manufacturer Gentec-EO.
The Centre d’optique, photonique et
laser (COPL) is Canada’s largest univer-
sity research center in optics/photonics.
As a strategic cluster of optics/photonics
researchers from a number of Québec
province universities, COPL strives to
perform both fundamental and applied
research; to support industry; and to train
the next generation of optics/photonics
scientists. Other Québec research institu-
tions with wide-ranging interests include
the National Optics Institute, a design and
development firm based in Québec City,
and the Defence R&D Canada facility in
“The photonics industry in Québec
province is mainly small and medium en-
terprises which are very diverse, covering
many application domains,” said Robert
Corriveau, president and CEO of the
Québec City-based Canadian Institute for
Photonic Innovations (CIPI), part of the
national Network of Centres of Excel-
lence. CIPI fosters interaction among
Canadian scientists from universities,
government and industry through research
and networking programs.
More than 100 companies in theprovince generate nearly 5000 jobs; in2007, 1685 of those jobs fell into theresearch category. Sixty-nine percent ofQuébec photonics companies employ
Québec City is a hot spot for photonics innovationin Canada.
The Pavilion of Optics and Photonics (POP), which opened in 2006 at Université Laval in Québec City, is thehome of the Centre d’optique, photonique et laser and the administrative office of the Canadian Institute forPhotonic Innovations. Courtesy of Pierre Bolduc.
POP is equipped with state-of-the-art laboratory systems and devices. Courtesy of Pierre Bolduc.