In Canada, approximately 400 companies work in optics-photonics. They generate an annual turnover of nearly $ 4.6 billion of dollars, export nearly 65% of their production and create more than 25,000 jobs. The growth of these businesses is valued at an annual rate of 10%. Across Canada, the provinces of Quebec and Ontario are the most active. These territories produce 77% of sales revenue, whereas the Atlantic provinces are at 3%, the Prairies provinces at 7% and British Columbia at 13%.
It is in Quebec that the optics-photonics industry is particularly well settle and established. It is made up of more than 130 SMEs / SMIs and manufacturers as well as more than 10 academic centres. It also generates more than $ 800 million of dollars, exports nearly 85% of its production and includes a pool of more than 7,500 employees. Nearly a quarter of Canada’s optics-photonics economic potential is from Quebec.
Our Quebec optics-photonics companies also stand out for their dynamism and the multitude of optics-photonics sub-sectors in which they operate (e.g.: vision and imaging, instrumentation, sensors). This diversity allows them to be very competitive and develop innovative technologies that address diverse and varied activity sectors, such as aerospace, medical, manufacturing, telecommunications, etc.
Due to this strong growth, entrepreneurs and researchers in the Quebec optics-photonics sector have called for the grouping of the two organizations that represent them: the Quebec Photonic Network (QPN) and Optics-Photonics Industry Circle (CIOP) of Greater Metropolitan Quebec.
To respond to the industry’s willingness to unite around the same dynamic in order to position Quebec at the forefront of the productive and innovative strengths of the optics-photonics sector, a consultation process was initiated over the past few months. This consultation helped to identify the main strategic issues addressed by the new Pole of excellence in optics-photonics of Quebec.
The pole, named Optonique, was officially announced at Gentec Electro-optics on September 5, 2017 by government representatives. This Pole of excellence is recognized by the provincial government within the Ministry of Economy, Science and Innovation (MESI) as part of the ACCORD approach (Concerted Action for Regional Development Cooperation). It is also supported by federal and municipal governments, through the partnership of the Canada Economic Development Agency (CED), and Quebec City.