U of T Engineering alumni awarded $5.7 million to produce energy-efficient lighting solutions in Toronto

OTI Lumionics receives significant investment from the Canadian government to build a pilot production line capable of producing high-volumes of their organic LED lighting panels

OTI Lumionics staff

OTI Lumionics co-founder and president Dr. Michael Helander (EngSci 0T7, MSE PhD 1T2; centre) with U of T Engineering alumni colleagues (from left) Dr. Zhibin Wang (MSE MASc 0T8, PhD 1T2), Jacky Qiu (EngSci 0T9, MSE MASc 1T2), Michael Augustinavicius (ECE 7T6) and Ray Kwa (EngSci 0T0+PEY)

February 20, 2015 | By Luke Ng, photos by Roberta Baker

It’s about to get a whole lot brighter in Toronto, thanks to a significant investment from the Canadian government in a U of T Engineering alumnus’ sustainable lighting company.

OTI Lumionics, a company co-founded by alumnus Dr. Michael Helander (EngSci 0T7, MSE PhD 1T2), has been awarded $5.7 million from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) to implement a pilot production line capable of producing high volumes of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) lighting panels.

“This new pilot line will cut down production time from an hour to minutes.”

“We can make large, flexible OLED panels in about an hour with our rapid prototyping module,” said Dr. Helander. “This new pilot production line will be the same process, except it’ll be ten modules next to each other, cutting down the production time from an hour to minutes.”

OTI is one of seven clean technology projects in Ontario announced to receive investments totaling more than $26.8 million from SDTC’s SD Tech Fund™, an initiative that is part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, supporting jobs, economic growth and the environment.

Founded in 2011, OTI Lumionics was created by Dr. Helander and several of his U of T Materials Science & Engineering colleagues to commercialize a major breakthrough in OLED technology made during their doctoral studies. Today, OTI employs about a dozen staff—most of them U of T Engineering alumni—and is located in a 3,300 square foot office and lab space in the U of T Banting Building on College Street across from the MaRS Discovery District.

Their inaugural product—the world’s first OLED table lamp, aerelight—was launched to market in 2014.

aerelight by OTI Lumionics

OTI Lumionics’ aerelight

“Congratulations to all of our U of T Engineering alumni at OTI Lumionics. This is a well-deserved recognition of the important work they are doing,” said Professor Jun Nogami, chair of the U of T Department of Materials Science & Engineering. “This investment shows that our federal government has a strong commitment to supporting leading edge technologies that will help grow Canada’s green research and development knowledge base as we all work towards a more sustainable future.”


Read more about Dr. Michael Helander and OTI Lumionics’ story in ‘The Glow of Confidence’ feature in the U of T Department of Materials Science & Engineering’s recently published Impact magazine.

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