NRC-CPFC Assisting Clients to Develop and Commercialize Innovative Photonics Technologies

The National Research Council Canadian Photonics Fabrication Centre (NRC-CPFC) assists clients to develop and commercialize innovative photonics technologies. Client firms to generate about $500 million in the next five years, according to an Impact Analysis Report released today at a photonics industry event hosted by the Ottawa Photonics Cluster.

Key findings from the Impact Analysis of the Canadian Photonics Fabrication Centre - Final Report, prepared for the National Research Council Canada by KMPG LLP, indicate NRC-CPFC is providing a highly sought-after and important service to its client firms translating into revenues of about $500 million. Since 2002, the federal government has invested $52 million in NRC-CPFC and the rough estimate of gross commercial value to 12 companies surveyed from 2009 through to 2014 is $500 million.

"In order for start-ups to grow, they need patient, long-term investment," said Ottawa Mayor Larry O'Brien. "It is quite clear in the report that NRC-CPFC is not only delivering valuable assistance to these companies, who are in need of prototyping services and commercialization expertise, but is also providing Canada excellent value for money."

Photonics is a $710 billion global industry that impacts every sector of the economy. Across Canada, there are approximately 400 photonics companies that employ 20,000 people and generate close to $4.5 billion annually. The core photonics producer sector is comprised primarily of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups with revenues in the $1 million to $10 million range. Canada's photonics industry has the potential to become a significant engine for national economic growth. The work conducted by NRC-CPFC plays a critical role in the nation's ability to capitalize on and leverage the expertise in this industry by helping to facilitate and expedite the commercialization process of new products and develop companies with world-class capabilities and appeal.

"Since 2002, CPFC has been instrumental in helping clients demonstrate their technology and raise capital-about $87 million to date. In fact, OneChip Photonics, an Ottawa-based company and CPFC client, holds Ottawa's only disclosed VC deal of 2009," said Michael Lebby, President and CEO, Optoelectronics Industry Development Association (OIDA) "We look forward to developing more successful and long-term partnerships with CPFC, industry clients and start-ups across the country in order to explore new technological possibilities and conduct advanced research and development."

Other notable findings of the Impact Analysis indicate:

  • over the past year alone, NRC-CPFC has worked with 45 clients, 28 of which were repeat customers;
  • additional benefits of working with NRC-CPFC, aside from the services of prototype fabrication, include: consultation; testing and technical assessments; advice on technology development and marketing; risk reduction; networking and linkages; and professional development;
  • the staff are viewed as exceptionally competent and professional, and the infrastructure as state-of-the-art;
  • according to clients, there is no other feasible alternative to NRC-CPFC within Canada;
  • by working with NRC-CPFC, clients are able to develop technologies that would otherwise be impossible; and
  • NRC-CPFC carries an implied "seal of approval" which is impressive to potential investors.

This positive impact analysis report provides valuable recognition for the important collaborative work undertaken by NRC-CPFC. Going forward, NRC-CPFC will enhance and improve services and procedures in order to ensure that the photonics industry in Canada continues to build momentum and gain credibility on a global scale.

NRC-CPFC is a world-leading photonics prototyping and training facility that provides commercial grade fabrication services dedicated to the creation of photonic device prototypes. NRC-CPFC supports the growth of the Canadian photonics sector by offering clients and partners cutting-edge photonics fabrication services; and simulation, design, fabrication, testing and prototyping services which help move innovative photonics devices to market.

Today's event was presented by OCRI on behalf of the Ottawa Photonics Cluster (OPC). The OPC is part of the Ontario Photonics Industry Network (OPIN) and a member of the Canadian Photonics Consortium (CPC).

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