OTTAWA, Canada, May 2 -- About 800 are expected to attend Opto-Canada 2002, being held May 9-10 at the Ottawa Congress Centre. More than 100 exhibitors are registered for the event. In addition to attracting members of the Ottawa photonics community, participants are expected from Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City and high-tech centers across the Northeast US. The International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE) said it's the first time it's conducting a regional conference outside of the US. Study and discussion topics will include ultrafast lasers, material processing and optical machining, biophotonics, optical imaging, space applications and optics in telecommunications. Last December, the federal government approved funding for the creation of a Canadian Photonics Fabrication Centre in the capital's renowned National Research Council. The new center will be used for research and training and to manufacture and test prototypes developed by Canadian researchers and companies working in the field. The facility is expected to create an estimated 2,300 additional jobs by its tenth year of operation and pump an additional $840 million into the local economy over the same period. January saw the launch of a new research association: OPRA, the Ottawa Photonics Research Alliance. The new group is made up of photonics researchers at Carleton and the University of Ottawa, Algonquin College, the Université du Québec à Hull, the National Research Council, the Communications Research Centre and the National Capital Institute of Telecommunications. This group was linked to its industry counterpart, the Ottawa Photonics Cluster, and the two groups will come together at Opto-Canada. F For more informaiton on OPTO-Canada. contact SPIE. Phone: +1 360 676 3290; fax +1 360 647 1445; E-mail email@example.com; Web: www.spie.org/info/canada .