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Business leaders eye national, global partnerships to help boost new photonics TAP facility

Dec 15, 2016

A final decision has been made about where the AIM Photonics testing, assembly, and packaging (TAP) facility will be located, much to the delight of industry insiders.

But what’s more exciting, according to Mark Peterson, President and CEO of Greater Rochester Enterprise, is the ability to now move forward and form concrete international business relationships.

“We are the center of the universe for photonics right now,” Peterson said, “The country and whole world is watching what we do with photonics in New York State and here in the Finger Lakes. This is a great next step.” 

Credit UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER

The selected site, known as Building 81 at Eastman Business Park and currently owned by ON Semiconductor, will lease excess clean room, lab and office space for the TAP facility. Peterson said Eastman was a logical choice.

“We met with the site consultants that were hired to do this evaluation several times and gave them options, and I think they did it thoroughly, the right way, and I think the choice is the right choice,” Peterson said.

Hundreds of jobs have been expected to come to the Rochester area as a result of the recent push into photonics, which involves the use of light in robotics, medical imaging, national security and other fields. However, Peterson warns there's no telling what the true numbers will be and how long it will take.

“We probably won’t see all of what we really might experience for a decade, but the reality is the jobs will start soon, within the next year, and they’ll grow every year from here on out.”

Officials are in the process of ordering high-tech tools and equipment for the downtown testing facility.

Peterson said he predicts the TAP facility itself will only generate around 50 jobs once it’s up and running next year, however Greater Rochester Enterprise is working with Eastman Business Park to find other buildings on site in which additional companies that may want to move their operations to Rochester can be relocated.