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Biophotonics Workshop Hits the Right Targets

OTTAWA, November 28, 2003 – Canada’s first biophotonics primer and workshop drew to a close on Sunday, November 16, in an atmosphere of confidence and optimism. A total of 110 participants from industry, academia and government attended this 3-day workshop, which featured talks by 22 speakers, all outstanding and internationally recognized Canadian and US experts in medicine, biology, physics, photonics and biomedical engineering.

Organizers from the Canadian Institute for Photonic Innovations and Vitesse Re-Skilling™ Canada qualified BioLIGHT 2003 a true success. CIPI Chair, Dr. Douglas James, said: “We are delighted by the high-level turnout and the genuine interest shown for this emerging field. Toward the end of the workshop, even after 3 very intense days of serious lectures and discussion, the meeting room was still full of people listening, discussing and exchanging views”.

All speakers made a compelling case for the immense benefits to be derived from cross-disciplinary dialogue. Industry representatives shared best practices and hard-earned experience and reaffirmed that the best opportunities often occur at the interface between two disciplines.

For life science specialists in attendance, photonics is opening up a realm of possibilities for diagnostics, treatment, investigation and monitoring. As one of BioLIGHT’s opening presenters, Dr. Brian Wilson from the Ontario Cancer Institute, highlighted some of the numerous advantages of using photonics-based tools and methods. “Photonics offers tremendous benefits in terms of selectivity, efficiency and affordability”, he said. “With ultrafast high-power lasers for example, it is now possible to probe individual cells or to activate drugs at a specific site”.

Participants from the fields of physics and engineering were further acquainted with the enormous potential for applications already developed for other fields like telecommunications. Furthermore, they took full advantage of the networking opportunities the workshop provided.

Vitesse Re-Skilling™ Canada President, Mr. Arvind Chhatbar, was pleased at the initial impact that BioLIGHT generated among participants. “For a first time effort, it is most encouraging to note that we achieved our objective of initiating the type of interaction which may lead to productive results”, he said. “We will give careful attention to the feedback that was provided by attendees with a view to possibly organizing future such workshops”. Mr. Chhatbar also pointed out that BioLIGHT 2003’s success was in great part due to the generous support demonstrated by the sponsors of the workshop. “We are grateful for the confidence and trust placed in us by all twelve supporting organizations, and thank them for their participation in this worthwhile endeavour.”

About CIPI

CIPI was established as a Network of Centres of Excellence in 1999 with the mandate to harness and develop the talents of Canadian researchers from universities and the private and public sectors for the purpose of placing Canada at the forefront of photonic research in the 21st century. The Network of Centres of Excellence Program is an initiative of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and Industry Canada.

About Vitesse

Vitesse brings career-oriented professionals, educators, and industry partners together and collaboratively shapes individualized training solutions - providing new and relevant skills for the knowledge-based economy to enable emerging clusters to thrive and grow through immediate availability of skilled professionals. The innovative Re-SkillingTM model is a proven model to meet the changing requirements of industry.

For information:            

Diane Déziel, Communications Coordinator

Canadian Institute for Photonic Innovations

(418) 656-3013 /


                                    Dr. R. Ian MacDonald, President

                                    Canadian Institute for Photonic Innovations

                                    (418) 656-3013 /


                                    Dr. Stoyan Tanev, Program Manager

                                    Vitesse Re-Skilling™ Canada Inc.

                                    (613) 746-3595 ext. 228 /


                                    Arvind Chhatbar, President

Vitesse Re-Skilling™ Canada Inc.

                                    (613) 746-3595 ext. 223/


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