WXXI AM News

Rochester Photonics Hub

Rochester will be the site of a new integrated photonics manufacturing innovation hub for the United States. Read WXXI News' coverage of this major economic development initiative and what it means for you and the region.

State and local officials say they are seeing a lot of interest in a state-funded competition designed to help startup companies in the optics, photonics and imaging industries in Rochester.

Governor Andrew Cuomo says that Luminate NY, the name of the competition announced earlier this year, has received interest from more than 100 applicants from around the world.

M&T Bank has a new survey out about what small and medium sized businesses think about the U.S. economy and their individual businesses, and the outlook is optimistic

Randy also takes a peek into the new contract for Harris Corporation, and previews Constellation Brads upcoming annual meeting.

You’ll also learn about a new company coming to take part in Rochester’s growing photonics initiative, and there’s a new CEO at Harris Beach.

A program designed to grow the local photonics industry is getting a new name as it officially launches in Rochester. 

It started the year as the Photonics Venture Challenge, when Governor Andrew Cuomo first announced it earlier this year. But now the competition, funded by $10 million through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, has been re-named Luminate NY.

The competition encourages optics, imaging and photonics companies from around the country who have entrepreneurial ideas.

Governor Andrew Cuomo says the AIM Photonics project in Rochester is in the final planning stages to begin construction this summer.

Empire State Development’s Board of directors on Friday approved an $81 million dollar grant to equip and operate the Testing, Assembly and Packaging or “TAP “ facility.

That is located on Lake Avenue in Rochester at a former Kodak building at the Eastman Business park.  The building is owned by ON Semiconductor.

The state grant will be used for machinery, tools and other equipment.

The Eastman Business Park is welcoming a new tenant, a company involved in photonics. It's actually the first independent photonics company to locate at the business park.

There is a research hub being developed at the park, called a Testing, Assembly and Packaging or ‘TAP’ facility which will serve a number of photonics firms in the area.

The latest announcement from the AIM Photonics board about that initiative in Rochester involves the development of electronic sensors that  can be used  by the military and for various civilian applications.

Officials say the new Defense Department project will help researchers develop sensors that can be used for things like environmental monitoring, diagnosing disease, ensuring food safety and detecting chemical and biological weapons.

Randy Gorbman reports on the AIM-Photonics project in Rochester has decided on where their local headquarters will be. Also, Kodak is looking to sell their Prosper commercial inkjet business to a local company you may know. They’re called Xerox.

University of Rochester

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that New York State will establish a $10 million, multi-year Photonics Venture Challenge in Rochester.

He says the business competition will aim to support start-up companies that commercialize rapidly developing technologies through a business accelerator program and a top award of $1 million to the most promising start-up company.

Cuomo says there currently are no accelerator programs in the world that have a photonics focus.

Officials with New York State’s economic development arm, Empire State Development, say that they are no longer pursuing a project with a California-based company called Photonica.

Last year, Governor Cuomo and other officials announced that Photonica, which is involved in photonics technology, planned to bring about 400 jobs to Canal Ponds Park and the Eastman Business Park.

UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER

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.

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