Ottawa photonics cluster focuses on green technology

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The city of Ottawa's photonics cluster, comprised of 107 photonics companies and under the leadership of the city's economic development agency, OCRI, has committed to focus on the emerging cleantech market. Two cleantech applications for photonics technology include photovoltaics, a $15bn market with an annual growth rate of 25 per cent, and light-emitting diode (HB-LED) and organic light-emitting diode (OLED) lamps, a $5bn market being spurred on by the US Department of Energy's goal of a 50 per cent reduction in energy use for lighting by 2025.

'Whether it's harnessing the power of the sun or saving power through more efficient lighting applications to a myriad of associated green applications in signage, security, transportation and architecture, the marriage of photonics to the global cleantech opportunity is an ideal alignment for the 100-plus companies in Ottawa's photonics cluster,' said Mike Darch, executive director, global marketing, OCRI.

Ottawa, in partnership with Global Advantage cities of Tucson, Arizona and Berlin, Germany, met at Photonics West to create more links between Ottawa's photonics companies and cleantech industries. Global Advantage partner cities establish connections among their governments, research universities, research parks, business incubators, and technology companies. One such partnership is a memorandum of understanding on joint research in photonics between Carleton University in Ottawa and the University of Arizona.

Twelve Ottawa-based photonics companies and organisations attended OCRI's Photonics West networking breakfast, including the National Research Council Canadian Photonics Fabrication Centre (NRC-CPFC). NRC-CPFC assists clients to develop and commercialise innovative photonics technologies.