Slaughter Announces New York Has Been Selected as a Finalist to Compete for Federal Photonics Institute

Slaughter Has Spearheaded Effort to Secure Transformational Federal Investment Since 2012

Optics and Photonics Support 17,000 Jobs in the Rochester Region

ROCHESTER, NY – Today, New York’s Rochester-led consortium was named one of three finalists in the country to compete for a significant federal investment in the region’s signature photonics industry, an initiative that Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY) has spearheaded for nearly three years.

In October 2014, at Rep. Slaughter’s behest, President Obama announced that the Department of Defense would take the lead in constructing an Integrated Photonics Manufacturing Institute and would commit $110 million in federal funding for the institute. After that announcement, Rep. Slaughter brought together local and state stakeholders to coordinate a state-wide “concept paper” for the Department of Defense. Today, the Department of Defense announced that the Rochester-led New York State consortium was selected as one of three finalists to submit a full application.

“Over the last three years, we have made substantial progress securing federal investments that have strengthened Rochester’s optics and photonics industry,” Rep. Slaughter said. “These awards have made a difference in creating jobs and spurring innovation but they also demonstrate our region’s ability to work together in order to deliver results for our community. Today, we are one step closer to securing a federal photonics manufacturing innovation institute. I will continue to be relentless in my efforts to secure state and federal investments for an industry that is synonymous with Rochester because I know what it means for our economy and for local jobs. I would like to thank my friend and colleague Joe Morelle who has been a committed partner in this endeavor.”

The New York application was submitted by the Research Foundation for the State University of New York (SUNY) on behalf of the University of Rochester, RIT, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, and other academic and industrial partners from around the country. The consortium brings together a significant number of stakeholders from New York, California, and Massachusetts. In addition to bringing together New York stakeholders to develop the concept paper, Rep. Slaughter has also requested<> a state investment of $250 million to bolster the local and statewide photonics industry, and will seek a significant industry investment – two critical funding sources that make New York’s Rochester-led application an attractive option for a federal investment.

Full proposals are due on March 31, 2015 and a winning application is expected to be announced in June 2015.

The new Integrated Photonics Manufacturing Institute will be focused on integrated photonics manufacturing, a field that impacts a wide range of industries. Integrated photonics manufacturing has the potential to revolutionize the carrying capacity of internet networks to transmit more data at faster speeds; enhance medical technology; reduce the cost of sequencing the human genome; and improve battlefield imaging and radar capabilities for national defense. The winning consortium will be responsible for building the Integrated Photonics Manufacturing Institute. Similar institutes have had dozens of core partners throughout the country that receive investments. Earlier this year, RIT was named a core partner in the Chicago-based Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute and is slated for an investment of up to $20 million.

Here is an extensive timeline of Congresswoman’s Slaughter’s work to bring an optics and photonics institute to Rochester:

*         June, 2012- Rep. Slaughter convenes industry and academic leaders to establish Rochester Regional Optics, Photonics and Imaging Accelerator, Advocate for Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge (AMJIAC)<>.

*         October, 2012- Rep. Slaughter announces a $1.9 million Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator (AMJIA) federal grant to assist the growth of the regional optics industry.<>

*         February, 2013- Rep. Slaughter reconvenes industry and academic leaders to continue collaborative approach on advanced manufacturing grant.

*         June, 2013- Rep. Slaughter secures increase in funding for U of R Laser Lab.<>

*         September, 2013- Rep. Slaughter addresses Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster annual meeting, receives award for supporting industry<>.

*         October, 2013- Rep. Slaughter returns to ITT Exelis to celebrate UR Laser Lab, QED and ITT Exelis collaboration on locally made advanced polishing machine.<,-Exelis-Announce-$2-million-Technology-Partnership-with-the-University-of-Rochester.aspx>

*         October, 2013- Rep. Slaughter’s Op-Ed in support of local optics industry appears in The Hill.<>

*         February, 2014- Rep. Slaughter delivers keynote address to Optical Society of America<>.

*         March, 2014- Rep. Slaughter sends letter to President Obama advocating for a manufacturing institute for optics and photonics in Rochester<>.

*         May, 2014- Slaughter secures AmTech grant to fund development of New York Photonics Manufacturing Initiative<>.

*         May, 2014- Slaughter leads second letter to President Obama advocating for a manufacturing institute for optics and photonics in Rochester<>.

*         May, 2014- Rep. Slaughter Brings Senior Defense Department Leaders to Rochester to Showcase Local Optics and Photonics Capabilities<>.

*         May, 2014- Slaughter helps secure Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership for Rochester, giving region access to $1.3 billion in federal funds to develop OPID industry and create jobs<>.

*         June, 2014- Department of Defense (DoD) <> releases a Request For Information (RFI), giving local and national stakeholders the opportunity to formally make the case for a federal investment in an optics and photonics manufacturing institute.<>

*         July, 2014- Slaughter Announces $2 Million Award for OLEDWorks for Development of High Quality Organic Light Emitting Diode Products<>.

*         September, 2014- Slaughter delivers keynote address to Rochester Regional Photonics Institute, focuses on securing National Manufacturing Institute<>.

*         September, 2014- Rep. Slaughter sends a letter to Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense to make the case for Rochester as a location for a Manufacturing Institute in Optics, Photonics and Imaging.<>

*         October, 2014- Obama Administration commits to creating an Institute for Manufacturing Innovation dedicated to photonics; Rep. Slaughter begins organizing Rochester’s application.<>

*         October, 2014- Slaughter brings U.S. Army Deputy Assistant Secretary Richard Kidd to Rochester to tour local optics and photonics manufacturers.

*         November, 2014- Slaughter convenes high-level meeting with industry, academic, and political stakeholders and begins writing application for the institute.

*         December, 2014- Slaughter writes letter to Governor Cuomo asking for a $250 million investment in the local photonics industry to create jobs and leverage a federal investment.<>

*         January, 2014- Rep. Slaughter announces Rochester named one of three finalists to compete for the institute.

2 Responses
  1. Stephen Smith

    Congratulations to all, and to Representative Slaughter, on your continued efforts to develop the NY program in this critical manufacturing area. Please note the timeline for the latest announcement should read January 2015 above.

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New York Photonics is a not-for-profit organization founded to promote and enhance the New York State optics, photonics and imaging industry by fostering the cooperation of business, academia and government.


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