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Canadian helps set up company in Xi'an

By Liu Xiangrui | China Daily | Updated: 2017-12-08 07:40
Brent Little doing an experiment in the lab of QXP Technologies Inc in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, where he serves as the chief technical officer. [Photo provided to China Daily]

A photonics expert from Canada helps to set up a company in the ancient city of Xi'an. Liu Xiangrui reports.

Brent Little was unsure of his life in a foreign country when he decided to work in China.

But the photonics expert from Canada soon found out that there were more opportunities than challenges. He is now the chief technical officer at QXP Technologies Inc, a Chinese company in Xi'an, capital of Northwest China's Shaanxi province, where it was founded in 2014 by the current CEO Cheng Dong, Little and some others from the field.

According to Little, his role in the company is to look at what technologies need to be developed and where the company is heading in the next few years.

"Technology always changes and you always want to be ahead of everybody else," Little, 52, says.

Since the mid-1990s, he has researched photonic integration at top institutes including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Maryland. He has published a dozen papers in journals.

In 2013, Cheng reached out to Little whom he had known earlier to ask him about launching the company, which was later supported by the Xi'an Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics under the Chinese Academy of Sciences and received venture funds from Xi'an Zhongke Optics Mechanics Investment Holdings Ltd and others.

"I liked that idea and I thought about it a bit. That's how it all began," recalls Little, who was then thinking about new work after selling his own startup in the United States.

Photonics is the science and technology of light with applications in areas from advanced science to everyday life. It is a new field that's not dominated by any country yet, and China's manufacturing infrastructure, which allows it to quickly mass-produce products, has a big advantage, he says.

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