The Joint Centre for Extreme Photonics (JCEP) was formed in 2019 as a joint undertaking between the National Research Council (NRC) and the University of Ottawa (uOttawa).  It is composed of 12 Fellows: 6 from NRC and 6 from uOttawa.  Extreme photonics covers research topics ranging from single-photon sources to intense femtosecond lasers.


The Joint Centre for Extreme Photonics (JCEP) will be recognized globally as an outstanding government-university partnership to accelerate world-class research in extreme and quantum photonics.


JCEP will strengthen Canada’s photonics ecosystem by integrating the efforts of the University of Ottawa (UOttawa) and the National Research Council Canada (NRC) in extreme and quantum photonics into collaborative projects with the ultimate goal of finding creative and sustainable solutions to Canada’s socio-economic and environmental challenges.

Core Values

JCEP will thrive within the framework of both institutions core values, in particular: commitment to developing strong partnerships, passion for lifelong learning, creativity and innovation, excellence in teaching, scholarship, research and service, integrity, and respect.


  • Research: expand research capacity through collaborative projects, leveraging resources from each institution.
  • Training: enriching the experience of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows through research activities in both government and academic labs.
  • Partnerships and reputation: enhancing the opportunities for partnership with third party institutions (e.g. industry, international research Centres) thus strengthening the regional and national ecosystem in photonics and increasing its reputation and profile.
  • Infrastructure: expand the capacity to fund state-of-the-art infrastructure through joint CFI applications.

The National Research Council of Canada and the University of Ottawa create a new innovation hub

Announcement of a new research partnership for the Joint Centre for Extreme Photonics

OTTAWAJan. 31, 2020 /CNW/ – Business leaders, researchers, and students today celebrated the launch of the Joint Centre for Extreme Photonics (JCEP) in Ottawa. Established by the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the University of Ottawa (uOttawa), this innovative hub for extreme and quantum photonics research will unite the strongest research team in this field, in the country, and reinforce Canada’s leading role in photonics, the science of light.

The NRC and uOttawa have a long-standing research relationship in the field of photonics; this new collaboration centre focuses on collective research and development in atomic, molecular, and optical physics, specializing in ultrafast quantum photonics, high-accuracy clocks, attosecond science, and nanophotonics. It also provides training opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. The JCEP team is composed of world-class researchers whose work will lead to new technologies, patents, and innovations.

To help position Canada as a global leader, the NRC is increasing its collaboration with regional ecosystems, universities, polytechnic institutions, and colleges by establishing collaboration centres across the country.

Photonics is one of uOttawa’s strategic areas of research. Its photonics research program is one of the best in the world.


“This collaboration centre brings together leading researchers to make significant advances in photonics for Canadians and Canadian businesses. Thanks to our partnership with the University of Ottawa, the Joint Centre for Extreme Photonics will also capitalize on significant investments in talent and infrastructure, while providing succession planning for some of Canada’s most eminent scientists.”
Iain Stewart
President, National Research Council of Canada

“The creation of the Joint Centre for Extreme Photonics is an important milestone in the University of Ottawa’s long-established partnership with the National Research Council of Canada. This partnership will be instrumental to further cement Canada’s reputation as a global force in photonics research.”
Jacques Frémont
President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Ottawa

Quick facts

  • The National Research Council of Canada and the University of Ottawa have been collaborating on photonics for a decade
  • Housed at the University of Ottawa and the National Research Council of Canada, the Joint Centre for Extreme Photonics brings together 12 researchers, and postdoctoral fellows from both institutions
  • The National Research Council of Canada is Canada’s largest research and development organization
  • The University of Ottawa is located in the heart of the nation’s capital. It is the world’s largest bilingual (French-English) university, with over 40,000 students