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  • Canadian Firms 'Strut Stuff' at Forum
Sep 2004
OTTAWA, Sept. 28 -- Photonics North 2004, which opened yesterday in Ottawa, is providing local and Canadian companies with an opportunity to "strut their stuff to the world," said the Canadian Photonics Consortium (CPC), which is co-sponsoring the exhibition with the International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE).

Designed to promote international partnerships and collaboration among businesses and researchers, the three-day conference includes a trade show featuring more than 110 exhibitors from Canada, the US and overseas, and more than 350 papers focusing on the latest research in the field.

Sessions at the conference will focus on the latest advances in optical systems, the use of optical fibers, laser technology, medical applications and telecommunications. Other sessions will look at education and training issues. The second annual International Photonics Forum, a one-day event, is being held in conjunction with Photonics North. Participants include other industry associations, trade delegations, businesses and researchers from around the globe.

"The International Photonics Forum at Photonics North brings together the photonics business community from around the world," said CPC President Ruth Rayman. "Canada holds a leadership position in photonics and is respected worldwide for its research capabilities and commercial success. The presence of international industry experts in the capital this week indicates there's keen interest in Canadian photonics technology the world over."

Savvas Chamberlain, CEO of the Canadian-based Dalsa Corp., is a keynote speaker. A supplier of digital imaging components and specialized semiconductor manufacturing, Dalsa recently supplied NASA with the sophisticated image sensor chips that were used aboard the twin Mars rovers "Spirit" and "Opportunity" to capture the highest-resolution images ever taken of another planet.

"DALSA is a Canadian success story because we use our technology as a competitive resource," said Chamberlain. "Our global success highlights the kind of expertise we have in this country; the kind of innovative, cutting edge technology we're sharing with the world."

The forum is being hosted by Ontario Exports Inc., the export development agency of the Government of Ontario, and Invest in Germany, the development arm of the German government.

This year, Germany is the forum's featured country.

"Germany is the market leader in specialist optical technology segments, such as lithography and microscopic optics, the CPC said. "They are global leaders in the development of laser source technology."

The Bundesministerium fur Bildung und Forschung (BMBF, the German Ministry for Education and Research) has set aside 280 million euros to fund a program called Optical Technologies -- Made in Germany, to support the German optical industry in technology and innovation management, marketing and communication, start-up coaching and consulting and training and education.

"The commitment by the BMBF to fund an optical program will give us the necessary competitive edge to compete worldwide and further explore cooperative approaches to optical study," said Urda Martens-Jeebe, director of Invest in Germany GmbH and the prime contact for investors looking to expand in Germany. "Our participation at this year's conference accents our desire to work with like-minded experts from around the world and to educate businesses on investment possibilities in our region."

The organizers of Photonics North said it offers "a number of opportunities to forge relationships that will benefit the enhancement of photonics."

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