On the occasion of its 20th anniversary - INO honours its builders



    QUEBEC CITY, Sept. 16 /CNW Telbec/ - On the occasion of a ceremony
celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Institut national d'optique's (INO)
establishment, its CEO, Mr. Jean-Yves Roy, honoured the exceptional
contribution of different personalities whose vision and leadership have
contributed significantly to INO's development. The activity, attended by many
political and socio-economic actors from the area, honoured the exceptional
contributions of Jean Pelletier, Daniel Johnson, Lawrence Cannon, Suzanne
Duplessis, Paul Major, Charles E. Beaulieu, John P. Manley, Bernard Landry,
Martin Cauchon, Michel Audet and Maxime Bernier who, at a precise moment in
history, played a major role in INO's growth and expansion.
    A special homage will also be paid to Mr. Jean-Guy Paquet, current
Chairman of the Board, at the origin of INO's creation.
    "Twenty years after its establishment, INO wants to honour its builders'
contribution who, thanks to their remarkable support, contributed to make INO
an internationally renowned center in optics and photonics. Today, we are
celebrating the importance of technological development. Above all, we are
celebrating twenty years of vision, research, collaborations and partnerships
between the actors that contributed to make of Quebec a technological capital
which distinguishes itself thanks to the dynamism of its leaders and of its
high technology entrepreneurs" declared Mr. Jean-Yves Roy.

    IMPORTANT FACTS

    Closely linked to INO's creation and expansion, a pioneer in technology
and Quebec area economy conversion, Mr. Jean-Guy Paquet was CEO of INO from
1994 to 2004, and is currently Chairman of the Board. It is thanks to him that
hundreds of researchers and scientists from INO have the opportunity to pursue
research and scientific innovation work, here, in Quebec City.
    "If INO now shines at an international level, if its unique model is
admired by many countries, if technological entrepreneurs can rival the best
throughout the world, we owe it largely to Jean-Guy Paquet's vision. Thus, INO
wishes to honour its great esteem and appreciation for Mr. Paquet's devotion
and determination" stated the CEO.
    Let us remind you that the idea of creating an optics institute in Quebec
City was firstly unanimously approved by the autumn 1983 Socio-economic
Summit, presided by the Quebec City mayor at the time, Mr. Jean Pelletier.
Visionary, he pulled out all the stops to see to the creation of the High Tech
Park, where INO would settle. Later, during the course of his career at a
Federal level, he promoted INO's business model, while financially supporting
its internal research program.
    Since her election as Member of Parliament for Louis-Hébert, in September
1984, Mrs. Suzanne Duplessis gave her full support for the creation of a
research center specialized in optics and photonics. She played a key role in
the signature of the Canada-Quebec Agreement and the announcement made by
Prime Ministers Robert Bourassa and Brian Mulroney in 1988.
    In 1985, Mr. Paul Major accepted the difficult mission of presiding and
reuniting the first board of directors in history for a non-profit private
corporation: INO. From then on, he played a valuable role in its growth.
    As for Mr. Charles E. Beaulieu, he cumulated the functions of Chairman of
the Board and CEO of INO from 1986 to 1994, to then continue his commitment as
Chairman of the Board from 1994 to 2005. This former Deputy Minister of
Industry and Commerce piloted the construction of the first research center
and the hiring of the first scientific teams, making INO the leader of
Quebec's new High Tech Park.
    The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, currently Federal Minister of Transport,
Infrastructure and Communities, was, at the time, a Member of Parliament for
the La Peltrie riding and parliamentary assistant at the National Assembly of
Quebec between 1985 and 1994, also greatly contributed to INO's establishment
in the High Tech Park. His colleague Daniel Johnson negotiated and concluded
the first Canada-Quebec Agreement with the Federal Government, which gave INO
the financing it needed to start.
    Mr. Bernard Landry then allocated, in his first Budget Speech as Minister
of Finance, the exceptional amount of 35 million dollars, which allowed for
INO's expansion.
    Ardent promoter of innovation in Canada, the Honourable John P. Manley,
as Canadian Minister of Industry, then of Finance, always encouraged INO's
development projects. It is thanks to him, that INO received its first
financing at the end of the Canada-Quebec auxiliary Agreement. As cabinet
member, he was also a supporter in the financing of INO's first expansion.
Today, John P. Manley is still associated to INO, being Chairman of the Board
of Optosecurity, a company born from a technological innovation developed at
INO.
    At the end of the 1990s, Minister Martin Cauchon gave INO recurrent
financing from Canada Economic Development for an initial three year period.
It was also thanks to him that, in 2000, INO received the financing for its
first expansion. A few years later, when the telecommunications industry fell
victim to a historical slump, the Honourable Martin Cauchon allowed INO to
continue its growth in the field of agrophotonics by granting the company
close to 4 million dollars.
    Characterized by his business sense and his determination, Mr. Michel
Audet, firstly as Minister of Industry, then as Quebec Minister of Finance
from 2005 on, played a key role in INO's development by granting INO financial
support from the Charest government for the amount of 50 million dollars over
a five year period.
    Named Canadian Minister of Industry since the Harper government's
ascension to power, Maxime Bernier, Member of Parliament for the Beauce
riding, was also an ardent promoter of INO. It is thanks to him that INO is a
Center of excellence for Commercialization and Research, an acknowledgment
accompanied by a 15 million dollar special contribution.
    Taking advantage of the occasion to pave the way to the company's future
development, the CEO reminded us that in the next five years, INO has
committed to, in its strategic plan, to facilitate the emergence of 11 new
technological businesses. The year 2007-2008 will have seen the births of two
new spin-offs from technologies developed by INO researchers. Scientifically
and technologically speaking, INO's portfolio has grown this year, to include
eight new titles, which bring to 97 the number of patents held for
technological innovations stemming from the work of its scientific and
technical personnel. 93 other requests for patents are currently pending
approval.
    "Without a doubt, Quebec now constitutes an area of convergence for
highly skilled labour where research and innovation, products and high value
added services that have high commercial potential rub shoulders" added
Mr. Roy.

    About INO

    Creator and developer of foreground technologies, INO is the largest
center of expertise in business applications for optics and photonics in
Canada. International leader in its field, to this day, INO has created more
than 4000 made-to-order solutions for companies in Quebec and Canada in
different fields of activity. INO made 38 technological transfers toward the
industry and is at the origin of 24 new high technology companies. INO employs
more than 225 people, a majority of which are researchers, scientists and
technicians that make the company world-renowned. Last year, INO, following
the example of six other research centers, was recognized by the Canadian
government as a Center of excellence for Commercialization and Research. For
more information, please visit: www.ino.ca.

    
    (*) Pictures from the ceremony will be available at 8 pm at this address:
        www.ino.ca/en/news
    




For further information:

For further information: Line-Sylvie Perron, NATIONAL Public Relations,
(418) 648-1233 extension 234, Cell: (418) 569-1452

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NATIONAL OPTICAL INSTITUTE (INO)

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