Rochester, NY, December 14 2016
A former Eastman Kodak Co. building on Lake Avenue is the recommended site for the research hub of the nation’s national integrated photonics initiative, AIM Photonics, sources say — with a vote confirming the selection expected Wednesday morning.
The site is at the edge of Eastman Business Park, formerly Building 81 and now home to ON Semiconductor. The company will lease excess clean room, lab and office space for what is called the Testing, Assembly and Packaging facility, according to sources with knowledge of the recommendation.
Members of the state board overseeing American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics will vote on the site during a meeting in downtown Rochester, sources said, with Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-Fairport, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and others expected to attend. Howard Zemsky, head of Empire State Development, is expected to present the proposal.
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From Empire State Development:
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the state-of-the-art AIM Photonics Manufacturing Facility will be located in Eastman Business Park in Rochester at ON Semiconductor. The facility will be used to test, assemble and package chips that use photons in place of electrons for increased performance of semiconductor circuits. The New York State Photonics Board of Officers met today and unanimously recommended the new site.
First announced by Governor Cuomo with Vice President Joe Biden in July 2015, the American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics will help secure the nation and region’s leadership in emerging technology research, development, and manufacturing. Optics, photonics and imaging is one of the three industry clusters identified in “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s successful Upstate Revitalization Initiative blueprint to grow the economy, create jobs and drive opportunity.
“The selection of ON Semiconductor further cements the Finger Lakes’ position at the forefront of the photonics industry and as a national leader in this emerging, high-growth field,” Governor Cuomo said. “With a long history of spearheading technological innovation, Rochester is delivering on a bold vision to revitalize the regional economy and jumpstart 21st century growth. It’s clear that our strategic investments in next generation industries are paying off – delivering high-paying jobs and driving the Finger Lakes forward.”
In September 2016, Empire State Development hired an independent site selector for the TAP facility to create a more efficient process at a lower cost to taxpayers. Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, one of the world’s leading commercial real estate advisory firms, conducted a thorough review and evaluation of potential site locations based upon criteria and specifications developed in coordination with the United States Department of Defense and other key stakeholders. This independent process will save taxpayers tremendously, with at least $10 million in savings from original cost estimates pending final negotiations and approvals.
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “Using an independent, third party site selector allowed for the evaluation of multiple sites in the Greater Rochester region before Eastman Business Park was selected for the TAP facility. The new TAP facility will help secure the Finger Lakes leadership role in emerging technology research, development, and manufacturing and is further proof that the future shines bright for photonics in Rochester.”
The site selection process recommended ON Semiconductor, located in Building 81 at Eastman Business Park, based on its existing infrastructure, including a clean room; regional accessibility; and the fact that it had the highest “quality” score based on factors such as building functionality, operational needs and real estate terms. ON Semiconductor is also likely to meet the required project timing and has the ability to leverage significant existing building and system infrastructure. It is also located at the Eastman Business Park, which is a priority strategic site identified by the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council. An environmental review will be conducted by Empire State Development and the site is expected to be approved by the Empire State Development Board of Directors at a later date.
Bill Schromm, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at ON Semiconductor, said, “With energy efficient semiconductor expertise across a wide range of applications, ON Semiconductor is very familiar with the semiconductor processes and facilities required for manufacturing high performance power conversion, wireless, connected, and imaging solutions. Our Rochester operations at the EBP facility incorporate the design, wafer fabrication, assembly, packaging, and testing of imaging components and we have a unique, on-site infrastructure in place, including process engineers and technicians, cleanroom facilities technicians, maintenance technicians and an HSE specialist, to help support the implementation of the TAP center. Coupling that with existing, available cleanroom space, we believe we offered a strong solution for a fast, efficient and safe enablement the TAP facility. We are honored to be selected as the site where the industry’s expertise and partnerships will come together to drive integrated photonic solutions. We also look forward to identifying additional technical and business areas to collaborate with AIM/Photonics to help grow these emerging technologies locally and attract additional businesses and talent to the area.”