Quebec Region has a Sound Capability on Optics-Photonics Industry

Issue 54

The security/defence business is well established in the province of Quebec. With the technological development in optics-photonics, there was an increase in the creation of products related to this field of activity as well as a growing interest of various actors to develop in the security business. For example, the industry of optics-photonics in 2006 hired around 3700 workers, which exclude the 800 researchers working among the eight research centers available in Quebec. In the same year, the overall profit that was made in this particular field of activity turned around $600 million, for which 80% came from the international market. As for today, it is possible to see that there was a progression from 2006. As from 2013, 600 000 researchers worked in 400 laboratories in these three fields of activities. Although the numbers include optics-photonics, biomedical applications and defence and security, it is possible to see that the market of optics-photonics and security/defence has become more important. Furthermore, the industries of optics-photonics are concentrated in Montreal and Quebec City, mostly since the high-skilled labor can be found there. The market of optics-photonics in Quebec has a high potential due of various factors. First, universities have had an important impact within this field of science, by training highly-skilled labor. These major institutions developing optics-photonics are mostly located in Montreal and Quebec, where universities are mostly concentrated. One major research group in the university environment le Centre d’optique, photonique et laser de l’Université Laval (COPL). There are over 30 programs that universities offers to the various students interested in science and related to the field of optics-photonics. In addition to the universities, laboratories and research groups, the Quebec and Canadian government offers various subsidies and tax credits in order to support the local industries. Furthermore, there are other groups that support these industries and university research in optics-photonics. The role of the groups that support industries in this field, such as Québec International and Quebec Photonic Network, is to promote their work and give them. On the other hand, university support groups promote the work made by the various universities within Quebec, in addition to connect their research to the private field. To name a few, there are Gestion Univalor, Gestion Valeo, MSBi Valorisation Inc, etc.

In Quebec City, the industry of optics-photonics has an important part to play in the economy. In 2012, there were 40 industries and 21 research centers that employed over 4650 people. The contribution of this field of activity to the Quebec GDP turned around $404,4 Million and to the provincial government, around $43,4 Million. 

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