Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster meeting stresses value of optics to US economy

Sept. 5, 2013
Rochester, NY - For its annual meeting, the Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster (RRPC) co-hosted an event at the Rochester Museum & Science Center focusing on the economic importance of optics and photonics to Rochester and the state of New York.

Rochester, NY--For its annual meeting, the Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster (RRPC) co-hosted an event at the Rochester Museum & Science Center focusing on the economic importance of optics and photonics to Rochester and the state of New York. As part of this effort, the RRPC is very involved in the the National Photonics Initiative (NPI) to raise awareness about photonics and unite academia, industry, and government experts to identify and advance areas of photonics critical to maintaining US competitiveness.

Related articleNational initiative aims to drive critical photonics technologies in US

In her opening remarks, US Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY) said, “Rochester’s optics, photonics, and imaging industries have been vital pieces of our local economy. Our federal government has long played a vital role in supporting the research, development, and commercialization of new fields, and even in these tough economic times I believe we must maintain this commitment to these industries that are so vital to the economic future of our region and our country.”

During the last 10 years, Rep. Slaughter has secured over $680 million in federal appropriations for the University of Rochester’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics, as well as funding for projects by local companies like Exelis and Lumetrics. She has helped attract new companies to Eastman Business Park to ensure the park remains an engine of economic growth for the region, and is currently leading efforts to attract an Institute for Manufacturing Innovation in optics to the Rochester area.

More than 60 optics, photonics, and imaging companies are located within a 20 mile radius of Rochester, and local institutions such as the University of Rochester’s Institute of Optics provide research and job training programs.

A panel discussion on the importance of Rochester's involvement in the newly-launched NPI followed Slaughter's remarks. The panelists were: Steve Anderson, industry and market strategist for SPIE; Tom Hausken, senior advisor for the OSA; Jennifer Clark, director of the Center for Urban Innovation in the Ivan Allen College at the Georgia Institute of Technology; Steve Fantone, founder and CEO of Optikos Corporation; and Duncan Moore vice provost for entrepreneurship and professor of optics at the University of Rochester.

About the Author

Conard Holton | Editor at Large

Conard Holton has 25 years of science and technology editing and writing experience. He was formerly a staff member and consultant for government agencies such as the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the International Atomic Energy Agency, and engineering companies such as Bechtel. He joined Laser Focus World in 1997 as senior editor, becoming editor in chief of WDM Solutions, which he founded in 1999. In 2003 he joined Vision Systems Design as editor in chief, while continuing as contributing editor at Laser Focus World. Conard became editor in chief of Laser Focus World in August 2011, a role in which he served through August 2018. He then served as Editor at Large for Laser Focus World and Co-Chair of the Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar from August 2018 through January 2022. He received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, with additional studies at the Colorado School of Mines and Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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