DURHAM, N.C., April 25 -- OptXCon Inc., a Research Triangle Park-based company developing optical communications products, has become an associate partner in the Fitzpatrick Center for Photonics and Communication Systems at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering. Kristina Johnson, dean of the Pratt School, said OptXCon will contribute $150,000 over three years to the center, which is a collaboration principally funded by industry, government and private donors. The center will focus research and teaching on light-wave communications systems and components and other advanced technological systems combining light and electronics. As an associate partner in the Fitzpatrick Center, OptXCon will have membership on the center's Industrial Advisory Board and assist in setting the strategic direction of the center and support faculty and student research. OptXCon is a venture-backed company that was founded in March 2000.