Institut National d'Optique

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National Optics Institute (INO)
Industry Aerospace
Information Technology
Natural Resources
Optics and Photonics
Founded 1985
Headquarters Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
Revenue Increase $37,6 millions [1](2011-2012)
Increase $489,457[2](2011-2012)
Number of employees
≈ 200 (2012)

The National Optics Institute (INO) is a Quebec City-based private non-profit corporation founded in 1988. INO is a technological design and development firm specialized in optic and photonic solutions for SMEs and large corporations. It claims to be home to the largest concentration of skill in the field and serves clients of all sizes from all parts of Canada and around the world.[3] INO offers a range of integrated services in optics and photonics to clients of all descriptions in every range of industrial activity. It also possesses a variety of technologies and innovative processes based on an IP portfolio. INO has 147 patents granted. In addition, over 103 other patent applications have been submitted and are awaiting approval.[4] INO was recognized as a Centre of Excellence and Innovation by the Canadian government.[5]


INO was officially created in 1985 at the instigation of the Université Laval, which, at the time, accounted for half of Canada's researchers in optics/photonics, as well as the Canadian Association of Physicists, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and various partners in the Quebec City area. Its function is to be a centre of expertise in optics and photonics and to assist companies in acquiring a competitive edge and developing their business. INO aims to generate at least one spinoff company every year out of its scientific and technological research. The company has offices in Quebec City, Montreal, Hamilton and Edmonton.

INO was a pioneer in optics/photonics research for industrial development purposes and is today Canada’s leading centre for industrial research and commercialization. The processes and applications it has developed by combining optics and photonics have helped many Canadian companies stay competitive in their respective fields.[6]


INO's technology and research programs include: Energy and Natural Resources, Defense and Security, MEMS and Microfabrication, Advanced Manufacturing, Environment, Optical Design, Vision, Lasers and Sources, as well as Biophotonics.

Since its creation, INO has helped create 28 companies, made 50 technology transfers to the industry, and carried out some 4,500 service contracts for businesses big and small.[7] INO possesses a wide range of expertise: astronomy, biophotonics, microbolometers, fiber sensors, laser micromachining, fiber lasers, lidar, MEMS/MOEMS, microfabrication, optical design, specialty optical fibers, space and astronomy, vision and 3D sensors.[8]

INO is a licensed microbolometer manufacturer.[9]

Company Structure[edit]

INO is administered by a board of directors and advisory committee composed of experts in the field. The 18 members of the board are from the private sector as well as various universities and of government.[10] INO has more than 200 employees, 80% of whom possess high-level scientific and technical training, such as: physicists, optical designers, electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, production/quality engineers, programmers, technologists, machinists and specialized technical assistants.[11]

International Society for Professional Innovation Management (ISPIM)[edit]

The first ISPIM took place in Singapore in December 2008 and was followed by a second event in New York City in December 2009. The idea behind the symposium was to hold an event outside of Europe, which is traditionally where the main ISPIM symposium takes place. Delegate numbers have steadily increased, and 185 people attended the New York event.

ISPIM's goals are to create a worldwide network of excellence in the field of innovation management, to enhance collaboration between its members and to be at the forefront of research on innovation.[12]

INO was host to the 3rd ISPIM symposium. Held from December 13 to 15 2010 at the Quebec City Convention Centre, the symposium allowed approximately 150 academics, business leaders, consultants and other professionals involved in innovation management from over 40 countries to exchange ideas and develop new paths for partnership.[13]