The Centre for Optics, Photonics and Lasers (COPL) is a strategic cluster of researchers from 8 Quebec universities sharing common objectives in teaching, research and innovation.

The activities of COPL are supported by the Fonds de recherche sur la nature et les technologies du Québec (FQRNT).

Our Institutional Members

Who we are

The Centre for Optics, Photonics and Lasers (COPL) is a strategic cluster of research teams located in 8 universities in Quebec. Funded by the Fonds de recherche québécois en nature et technologies (FRQNT), the COPL contributes to the evolution of knowledge and technologies in optics-photonics and to the training of a new generation of high caliber scientists.

Because of the interdisciplinary nature of its research activities, COPL brings together professors-researchers with diverse expertise, and their teams, including students, postdoctoral fellows and research professionals, who are pursuing research related to its themes at partner academic institutions.

Already well established and organized for over three decades, the COPL is in a unique position to coordinate and lead university research activities in this fast-growing sector throughout Quebec.

Our vision

Create a collaborative, interdisciplinary research environment, offering inclusive and accessible training, that will result in breakthrough discoveries and innovative technologies, multiplying the benefits of photonics and enabling the next generation to contribute fully to the development of knowledge and the socio-economic future of Quebec society.

Our Objectives

To train students at the Master’s, PhD and postdoctoral levels

COPL’s community of professor-researchers are committed to providing high-calibre training to their students. Students benefit from rigorous supervision in state-of-the-art research facilities within experienced teams. In addition, they are given the opportunity to take advantage of internships in industry and to participate in international conferences. COPL also organizes activities for them to acquire soft skills (scientific communication, development of a professional network, organization of conferences, entrepreneurship, etc.). All COPL graduates easily find a rewarding job in their chosen field.

Perform fundamental and applied research

COPL researchers are engaged in activities aimed at redefining the boundaries of knowledge in optics-photonics and at developing innovative technologies to meet the needs of industry and the needs of the applied research community. The outcome of their research published in numerous peer-reviewed journals have, since 2017, garnered over 133,000 citations, clear evidence of the impact of their work.

Contribute to socio-economic development by supporting industry

The COPL contributes to the growth of optics-photonics in Quebec by training scientists and engineers who have so far enhanced the workforce of over 200 companies active in this field in the province, not to mention the many research organizations and institutes that complete the landscape. Since 2000, COPL has also been the driving force behind 22 spin-off companies. Many of the technologies developed at COPL have applications in the life sciences, advanced manufacturing, communications, metrology, environmental sciences, and robotics, to name but a few.

Our history

The COPL was founded in 1989 by researchers in optics at Université Laval. In 2002, the COPL became multi-institutional with the addition of researchers from Polytechnique Montréal. Gradually, the Centre has evolved towards a greater multidisciplinarity with the arrival of chemists and life science specialists. The extraordinary vitality of the field witnessed in recent years has justified the COPL’s continued growth. This enables Quebec to maintain its position as a Canadian leader in research and innovation in the field. Over the years, the Centre has added new members not only at Université Laval and Polytechnique Montréal, but also at McGill University, INRS, Université de Sherbrooke, École de technologie supérieure, Concordia University and more recently at UQTR. Since 2008, some thirty professor-researchers have joined the ranks of COPL, reaching a critic mass of 50 professors-researchers, giving it new energy and ensuring that it meets the many needs of our innovative society.

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