SPIE’s Photonics West, arguably the largest photonics conference in the world at 21,000 attendees this year, had representation among its exhibitors of roughly 18% of the world’s optic and photonics market.
That market, estimated at roughly $480 Billion by SPIE, is the foundation for technological advances in manufacturing, metrology, nanotechnology, semiconductors, biomedical instruments, consumer electronics, military / defense, lasers, research, automotive, mapping, geospatial imaging, entertainment, unmanned systems and every other industry of the 21st century.
New York State companies numbered 76 out of the 1,246 exhibitors this year, or 6% of exhibitors from over a dozen nations.
Independent research by University of Rochester’s CEIS says that in New York’s Finger Lakes Region the industry accounts for 75 Companies, 17,000 employees and over $3 Billion in annual sales. SME’s in the regional OPI industry have enjoyed 5% – 7% annual growth since 2011 and currently employ ~2600 people.
1 in 14 households are supported by wage earners in the region’s OPI industry.
On Wednesday, January 29th, Vice President Joe Biden spoke at MCC and focused on Rochester’s tremendous future in Optics and Photonics. The next day, Mike Mandina, founder and President of Optimax Systems (Ontario County) joined Biden in Washington DC to discuss the National Skills Coalition with President Barack Obama.