08 Jun 2006
A look at some of the highlights from this year's event in Quebec City, Canada.
Photonics North has been taking place this week in the city of Quebec, Canada. The event consists of a technical programme between 5-8 June and a two-day exhibition between 6-7 June, both at the Quebec Convention Centre, in the centre of this historic city.
Quebec City, North America's only walled city - and a focus for tourism as well as optics innovation - will in 2008 celebrate 400 years since its establishment by French explorer Samuel de Champlain, the founder of "New France".
Located in the heart of Canada's photonic corridor (Québec City -Montreal-Ottawa) Quebec is a player in Canada for Photonics research and innovation, with research institutions such as the world renowned National Optics Institute (INO) with its almost 300 researchers, the Centre for Optic Photonic and Laser Research at Laval University and Defence Research and Development Canada.
As a consequence of these research centres, Quebec City boasts at least 30 optics-related companies including key players such as Exfo, Teraxion, Telops, Gentec, LxSix Photonics, PhasOptx and Coractive High-Tech.
Accomplishments, innovation in the optics and photonics fields were the topics of presentations at the Photonics North 2006 conference. This, the eighth such conference in Canada, had the theme "closing the gap between theory, development and application".
Presenters explored advances in science and technology that are likely to have an impact on photonics in the 21st century. Participants included both universities and companies using new optics and photonics technologies and concepts from interesting perspectives.
Conference topics included the following:
• Ultra-Short pulse Optics: lasers, sources and applications
• New optical materials/optical memories
• Fiber Lasers and Amplifiers: Development & Applications
• Biomedical photonics
• Industrial Applications of Optics: Materials Processing and Characterization
• Microwave Photonics
• Photonic devices
• Nano-photonics and photon-based atomic level manipulation
• Guided Waves Devices
"Fifteen years ago, the first conference on the applications of photonics technology was held in Quebec," announced Roger A Lessard, Photonics North President, at the opening of the event. "This became an annual event in 2002 and, under the banner of Photonics, North the number of participants continues to increase."
Running parallel with the exhibition were several evening events including the Second Annual German Photonics Fest. Hosted by Invest in Germany, the Photonics North delegates were treated to a German dinner on the 23rd floor of the Hilton Hotel, overlooking the spectacular view of the old city and the St Lawrence River.
Key speaker was celebrated German physicist and optics expert Susanna Orlic who gave a detailed presentation on optics and photonics opportunities and challenges in Germany. A second cocktail evening was sponsored by Quebec Photonics Network and the gala dinner on the final evening by was hosted the Canadian Institute for Photonic Innovations.
Photonics North 2007 will take place in June in Ottawa.