This winter, Canadian photonics companies headed west to establish new customer relationships, pursue new global market opportunities and showcase Canada’s technology strengths on the international stage. Together with the Canadian Photonic Industry Consortium (CPIC), a delegation of almost 50 Canadian photonics companies attended Photonics West from February 5 to 7, 2013 in San Francisco, California. Recognized as the largest and most influential photonics conference, this event brought Canadian firms together with more than 20,000 prospective customers, partners and fellow photonics stakeholders from around the world. Photonics West 2013 stimulated many new commercial opportunities now under development by Canadian participants, helping these companies to further capitalize on the US$386 billion global photonics market .
The Canadian contingent at Photonics West 2013 included small to medium-sized firms and large companies from Québec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia that design, manufacture and commercialize photonic-based products. Many of these firms showcased new innovations in biomedical optics; biophotonics; micro-opto-electromechanical systems (MOEMS) and micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS); photonic materials, components and devices; lasers; and other light-based systems. They also engaged fellow members of the global photonics community while participating in plenary sessions, technical events, short courses and various networking events.
Hosted by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, Photonics West attracted photonics technology developers, manufacturers, suppliers, distributors and adopters from a host of industrial sectors. These include: information and communications technologies (ICT), life sciences, automotive, aerospace, manufacturing, natural resources, security, energy and environment. This enabled Canadian participants to engage industry leaders in these sectors, and gather insights on key requirements and market opportunities. These delegates are now actively pursuing many business development leads emerging from this event.
“Photonics West offers Canadian photonic and optoelectronic companies a proven and well-established channel to global markets,” said Robert Corriveau, President of CPIC. “The relationships established during this event often generate new commercial opportunities and outcomes for participating firms. These include increased sales, exports and foreign revenues. It also allows our industry leaders to explore new international R&D and business partnerships; source top global R&D talent; and collectively demonstrate the superior quality of Canadian photonic products to the world.”
“I have coined the Photonics West conference ‘Photonics Best’ because it is the single most valuable marketing event we attend all year,” said Omur Sezerman, President and CEO of OZ Optics of Ottawa. “We generate more qualified sales leads and product orders at Photonics West than any other show. This year, we met many new customers who will benefit from our fibre optic components, test equipment and sensor-based systems. Going forward, we aim to work more closely with CPIC to increase Canada’s industry presence at Photonics West, and help firms build a stronger global photonics business.”
“Photonics West packs a world of market opportunity into a three-day event,” said Ghislain Lafrance, Vice President of Business Development for TeraXion. “As a leader in the design and manufacture of optical components and modules, we aim to meet global customers on a regular basis. At Photonics West 2013, we hosted more than 30 meetings with existing clients, and generated more than 50 new leads that we are now converting into sales. We also launched our new TPSR tunable pulse stretcher for ultra-fast optical lasers. This prompted several requests for quotations and initial sales from fellow participants.”
“Photonics West is instrumental to our business development,” said Félicien Legrand, Application Scientist for Montreal-based Nüvü Caméras. “Our firm designs and manufactures high-performance, low- light imaging cameras for biomedical applications, astronomy and quantum photonics. Photonics West enables us to engage new end-users and distributors from around the world. This year, we showcased our new high-sensitivity thermoelectric EMCCD camera, garnering significant interest from scientists and professionals. We anticipate these leads will translate into significant new revenues in the coming year.”
“Photonics West provides Canadian companies such as QGLex with direct exposure to a critical mass of prospective customers, partners and investors,” said Dr. Sergei Tchouragoulov, President and CEO of QGLex Inc. “As a company that designs and manufactures fiber lasers and optical fiber amplifiers, we require channels to international materials processing, communications, defence and life science markets. Photonics West facilitates direct access to technology adopters in these sectors, enabling us to build a strong global sales pipeline for the coming year. This is invaluable for a SME like QGLex.”
“Photon Control designs and manufactures precision optical measurement sensors, spectrometers and other high-performance measurement tools,” said Jessica Dunn, Sales and Marketing Manager of Photon Control. “As a Vancouver-based firm, we aim to continually promote our brand and our products globally. Photonics West allows us to meet with existing and prospective clients in worldwide energy, semiconductor and life science markets. It also enables us to build new business at home. We are currently developing a new device for a BC-based organization as a result of our participation this year.”
“As pioneers in hyperspectral imaging, Photon etc. develops state-of-the-art optical and photonic instrumentation for researchers, engineers and technicians,” said Dr. Sébastien Blais-Ouellette, President and CEO of Photon etc. “Photonics West provides a direct channel to prospective clients from laboratories around the world. This year, we launched two products at the show including RIMA™, an ultra-fast hyperspectral Raman imaging system, and a novel MCT infrared camera. Based on the strong response from participants, we expect to generate at least $3 million in sales as a result of this event.”
About the Canadian Photonic Industry Consortium (CPIC)
The Canadian Photonic Industry Consortium (photonscanada.ca) is an industry-led organization that aims to increase the competitiveness of Canada’s photonics sector by accelerating the application and adoption of novel Canadian photonics technologies across the economy. Founded in April 2012 following a merger of the Canadian Institute for Photonic Innovations (CIPI) and the Canadian Photonic Consortium (CPC), CPIC strives to improve the productivity and profitability of Canadian photonics companies by facilitating knowledge exchange and business collaboration; linkages between university researchers, technology developers and end-users; and the identification of new domestic and international market opportunities. Based in Québec City, CPIC was founded by Mr. Robert Corriveau and ten inaugural members that span different areas of photonics expertise and end-user sectors.