NY wins $600 million hub for photonics research, development

July 27, 2015 byCarolyn Thompson

A $610 million research and manufacturing hub dedicated to the science of photonics—the use of light in technology—will be developed in western New York, federal and state officials said Monday, which could mean thousands of jobs for the region.

Photonics involves the use of light in robotics, medical imaging, national security and other fields. Western New York already has about 100 companies focused on optics and photonics, and supporters of the new project say it will bring jobs in government, industry and academia to advance photonics research and its commercial uses.

"This is a huge win that will shape our region's economy for decades to come," Rep. Louise Slaughter said.

The project will be funded in part by $110 million from the U.S. defense department, with an additional $500 million in state and private investment, Vice President Joe Biden and Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in Monday's formal announcement.

New York's bid was selected from among three finalists competing for the project since it was announced by President Barack Obama's administration last fall as part of efforts to strengthen American manufacturing. Southern California and central Florida also were in the running.

The integrated photonics manufacturing institute is envisioned as a photonics "ecosystem" that includes domestic foundry access, automated packaging, assembly and workforce development.

"The photonics center we are now bringing to Rochester will harness the power of the Defense Department and ?the prowess of Rochester's 24,000 employee-strong photonics industry and focus it like a laser beam to launch new industries, technologies, and jobs," Sen. Charles Schumer said in a statement.

New York's bid involved a consortium that includes the Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Rochester, State University of New York Polytechnic Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Arizona and University of California at Santa Barbara.

Biden announced the award with Cuomo following a private briefing on the technology at the State University of New York Polytechnic Canal Ponds business park.

Explore further: New York state bans fracking

Related Stories

New York state bans fracking

December 17, 2014

Governor Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday he would ban hydraulic fracking in New York State, citing health concerns about the controversial oil and gas drilling technique.

Developing portable, highly sensitive gold detection

April 29, 2015

University of Adelaide researchers are developing a portable, highly sensitive method for gold detection that would allow mineral exploration companies to test for gold on-site at the drilling rig.

Recommended for you

ATLAS experiment observes light scattering off light

March 20, 2019

Light-by-light scattering is a very rare phenomenon in which two photons interact, producing another pair of photons. This process was among the earliest predictions of quantum electrodynamics (QED), the quantum theory of ...

How heavy elements come about in the universe

March 19, 2019

Heavy elements are produced during stellar explosion or on the surfaces of neutron stars through the capture of hydrogen nuclei (protons). This occurs at extremely high temperatures, but at relatively low energies. An international ...

Trembling aspen leaves could save future Mars rovers

March 18, 2019

Researchers at the University of Warwick have been inspired by the unique movement of trembling aspen leaves, to devise an energy harvesting mechanism that could power weather sensors in hostile environments and could even ...

Quantum sensing method measures minuscule magnetic fields

March 15, 2019

A new way of measuring atomic-scale magnetic fields with great precision, not only up and down but sideways as well, has been developed by researchers at MIT. The new tool could be useful in applications as diverse as mapping ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.