2008-2009 annual results - Despite the challenging economy, INO maintains its level of activity

    QUEBEC CITY, June 11 /CNW Telbec/ - At this morning's annual general
meeting, INO CEO Jean-Yves Roy painted a positive picture of the
organization's activities in 2008-2009.
    "Despite the rather difficult economic period and the fact that decreased
business spending on R&D contracts-caused notably by the financial crisis and
economic downturn-has had a ripple effect on our earnings, INO has maintained
a stable level of activity for fiscal 2008-2009. INO stood out this year for
its intellectual property efforts, strategic alliances, and the expansion of
its services across Canada." These were the words of INO CEO Jean-Yves Roy as
he looked back at INO's performance over the past year at the annual general
    Outside earnings for the year just ended were at a level comparable to
those of the previous year ($13.9 million compared to $14 million in
2007-2008). Of INO's outside earnings, $8.2 million came from R&D contracts,
$5 million from prototype sales and transfer considerations, and $730,000 from
other sources.
    These amounts were supplemented by an $18.1 million investment in INO's
Inhouse Research Program, for a total of $32 million in overall income at the
end of this fiscal year, compared to $32.3 million last year.
    Of INO's outside earnings, 27% came from companies and corporations
active in defense and public security, 25% in transportation, 25% in
aerospace, 15% in optics/photonics, 5% in industrial processes, and 3% in
other industrial fields.
    The geographic distribution of these earnings was as follows: 67% from
Canada (which is in line with previous fiscal years), 12% from Europe, 10%
from the United States, and 11% from other regions.
    Small and medium-sized enterprises are still INO's main client group and
accounted for 44% of our income. Big business provided 26% of our income,
while government corporations and universities accounted for 29% and 1%,
    There was also a substantial bump in the percentage of earnings from
industrial transportation clients. This increase is notably attributable to
strong growth in the demand for our road inspection systems. Similarly, INO's
involvement in major projects with Defence Research and Development Canada
(DRDC), including a number from Valcartier, and with the Canadian and
Argentine space agencies boosted earnings from government corporations.


    In terms of intellectual property, INO bolstered its patent portfolio by
adding ten new patents this year. INO is now the assignee of some 108 patents
protecting a variety of technological innovations developed by its scientific
and technical personnel. In addition, over 90 other patent applications have
been submitted and are awaiting approval.
    Fiscal 2008-2009 was also successful in terms of technology transfers and
strategic alliances. This year, the transfer of INO image analysis technology
led to the creation of a new spinoff company, Realtraffic Technologies. INO
also signed a worldwide licensing agreement with the Ottawa-area company
Searidge Technologies.
    This agreement gives the company full use of technologies developed by
INO in the field of intelligent video detection systems, which INO and
Searidge jointly hold the rights to. These technologies will improve the
performance of IntelliDAR,(TM) an innovative imaging technology that belongs
to Searidge Technologies and is designed for air traffic control and airport
    "What is more, we signed a partnership agreement with the Quebec City
firm ABB Bomem regarding INO's infrared microbolometric technology. Our two
companies will combine their respective expertise and know-how to fabricate
and commercialize infrared microbolometric sensors and instruments equipped
with this technology for use in space missions. Among other things, these
devices can be used in infrared radiometric imaging systems aboard
meteorological satellites," Jean-Yves Roy noted.
    INO also signed a cooperation agreement with the Bavarian Laser Center
GmbH (BLZ), a research center in Erlangen, Germany, specialized notably in
photonic microsystem research, development, and production. The agreement
involves the field of photonic micro- and nanotechnology. It will pave the way
for various forms of cooperation and joint research and innovation activities.
The first cooperation project involved INO's work with the Bavarian research
consortium FORPHOTON to help develop chemical sensors to optimize industrial
procedures. These sensors use INO's microstructured optical fiber technology
and photonic crystal geometries.


    Part of INO's mission is to foster economic growth, contribute to the
development of Canadian businesses, and help them become more competitive. As
such, fiscal 2008-2009 has been an opportunity to strengthen INO's presence
and the services it offers across the country. INO will now benefit from a
Calgary-based liaison to handle our ventures in Western Canada. We have also
transferred two high level technical/commercial employees from our main office
to our existing Ontario business office. These initiatives are directly in
line with INO's client-centered strategy and culture of flexibility in
marketable innovation.
    Outside of Canada, INO's approach hinges on networks of expert agents who
will stress the services we offer in high-potential industrial and
technological niches. We have already signed representation agreements with
two firms: Summit Photonics in Seattle, Washington, and Fiber Network
Engineering, which is headquartered in Silicon Valley.


    In other news, fiscal 2008-2009 was also the chance to celebrate the
institute's 20th anniversary. An event was organized last fall to acknowledge
the role played by various key figures who made exceptional contributions to
INO's development at specific times in our history.
    To honor these individuals, INO held an official ceremony, which was
attended by some 100 clients and partners, as well as business and government
    The day after the event, INO organized a major technology meeting with
prestigious speakers from Quebec, Alberta, and the United States. Over 100
entrepreneurs, financiers, and technology builders active in the new economy
took part in this highly appreciated event.
    For INO, the meeting was an opportunity to consolidate not only our ties
with our clients, partners, and collaborators of the last 20 years, but also
our position as Canada's leader and authority in the development of
optics/photonics for industrial applications.

For further information:

For further information: and interviews: Stéphane Dion, NATIONAL Public
Relations, (418) 648-1233, Ext. 235, Cell: (418) 208-1529; Source: Institut
national d'optique (INO), www.ino.ca

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INO (National Optics Institute)

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