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OCE, OptoNet Pen Optical Technology Deal
Feb 2010
TORONTO, Canada, Feb. 26, 2010 – Ontario's recognized expertise in the field of photonics has been given a major shot in the arm with the signing of an agreement between Ontario Centers of Excellence (OCE) and OptoNet, a German-based cluster that is a world leader in optical technology.

The Memorandum of Agreement links OCE's Centre of Excellence for Photonics with OptoNet, a cluster of 92 companies that includes leading research and educational organizations, investment companies and public institutions based in Germany's Thuringia region. The one-year agreement was signed at the opening of a workshop on solar /greentech and medical technology trends at Toronto's Fairmont Royal York Hotel.

Under the terms of the agreement the two parties will work collaboratively to strengthen technological and industrial development in the optical technology sector. The agreement also provides for:

Strengthening of industrial and business cooperation
    - exchange of information on opportunities for cooperation between companies for acquiring access to new markets, 
    - organization of trade missions and hosting of Ontario, Canadian and German delegations, 
    - benchmarking between Ontario, Canadian and German companies;

Support of joint R&D activities
    - cooperation between research centers with special focus on healthcare, information and laser technologies, 
    - exchanges within the framework of joint R&D projects initiated by each of the partners;

Collaboration with regard to providing training for students
    - exchange of information on training in photonics, focused on micro-optics, image processing, lasers or optical fibers, 
    - encouragement of exchanges - students, academic staff, researchers, post- doctoral fellows - by leveraging organizations that provide grants;

Vivid exchange of information
    - analysis of competences and fields of cooperation, 
    - exchange of information for technological and business intelligence.

OCE will also work with the Ontario Photonics Industry Network (OPIN) on many of the initiatives contained in the memorandum of Agreement.

Photonics already bring remarkable advances to laser surgeries that limit bleeding and speed recovery. Laser eye surgery is now commonplace while laser-based dentistry is replacing the fear and pain associated with high speed drills. Photonics technology is also being used in the field of geonomics to diagnose medical conditions faster and save lives.

"This agreement has tremendous potential for the thriving Ontario photonics industry," said David Choat, OCE's interim president and CEO. "With photonics playing an ever-increasing role in areas such as health care the future of the industry is promising."

"On behalf of Thuringia and OptoNet we are pleased to be part of this international collaboration with Ontario Centers of Excellence in this very exciting field," said Matthias Machnig, minister of economy, Labour and Technology, Free State of Thuringia. "There is no doubt that this collaboration will lead to new jobs and opportunities for both Thuringia and Ontario."

"Many experts believe that photonics will be to the 21st century what electronics were to the 20th," said John Milloy, Ontario's minister of research and innovation. "Ontario is already recognized as a leader in the field, and our most talented researchers are ready to bring their work to the world stage. This agreement with Germany's Thuringia region will help Ontario companies tap into a global market estimated to grow to $800 million over the next two years."

For more information, visit:  

The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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