The merger of two established groups into the Canadian Photonic Industry Consortium (CPIC) was celebrated at Photonics North last week. CPIC, established in April through the merger of the Canadian Institute for Photonic Innovations and the Canadian Photonics Consortium, brings together research centers and businesses to accelerate the application and adoption of the country's photonic technologies across the world. The value of the global photonics market was estimated at $330 billion in 2008; Canada's portion was $4.4 billion. Its 450 photonics-related firms collectively employ more than 20,300. Over the past four years, 74 percent of these companies reported revenue growth, while 65 percent added workers. The consortium brings together 10 inaugural member organizations across Canada, including small to medium-sized firms, multinational corporations and research centers, that have fostered various types of photonics expertise and span several markets, including gas and oil. “As we strive to help Canada become a global hydrocarbon energy leader, this consortium will enable us to engage photonics experts and explore how these technologies could address some of the challenges facing this sector,” said Dr. Soheil Asgarpour, president of the Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada, adding that this will also promote greater innovation. CPIC will help companies discover new technologies, talent and commercial opportunities, as well as assist them in finding financing. Its first priority is to connect photonics firms to prospective customers in communications, energy and lighting, life sciences and health care, defense and security, transport and manufacturing. The organization also will connect photonics innovators with research funding opportunities with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. To support its goal of doubling its membership before the end of the year, CPIC will establish partnerships with international counterparts such as Photonics21, the European Photonics Industry Consortium, the Knowledge Transfer Networks, and SPIE.