February 2-7, 2019, the global optics and photonics community descended on San Francisco for SPIE’s annual conference: Photonics West. With a whopping 58 companies in attendance, New York Photonics had its largest showing to date, the largest of any cluster at the conference.

“New York companies have been presenting and exhibiting at Photonics West for more than 20 years.” said Tom Battley, Executive Director of New York Photonics, the trade association representing the industry. “The conference has grown to about 1200 exhibitors and 24,000 attendees, completely filling Moscone Center; and there is a substantial wait-list for exhibiting.”

Exciting News: DoubleHelix Optics and Toptica Photonics Win Big!

Two New York Photonics companies were awarded the Prism Award, which is given to companies producing the best new photonics products on the market. The Prism Awards receives applications from more than 35 countries across the globe. Applications are judged by a panel of leading industry experts, venture capitalists, luminaries and visionaries.

DoubleHelix Optics was selected in the category of Diagnostics and Therapeutics, and Toptica Photonics was selected in the category of Scientific Lasers.





  • MCC Professor, Alexis Vogt, PhD, taught a short course: Fundamentals of Optical Engineering
  • Damon Diehl PhD, Diehl Research Grant Services, taught a short course: The Very Least You Need To Know About Optics
Before the storm of attendees
On Monday, prior to the exhibition, Pennwell Publishing hosted The Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar at the Marriott Marquis.

Jessica Nelson (Optimax Systems) and Jannick Rolland (UR) joined a panel to discuss how advances in precision optics are driving new applications

Tom Hausken from OIDA moderated a panel where makers and users of precision optics discussed advances and challenges they are seeing from a variety of perspectives. The panelists explored technologies and applications that are just entering the commercial sphere, the needs of integrators and end-users, and new opportunities for optical components and systems. Topics of great interest to our audience will include, for example, fused silica and novel materials, aspheres, AR/VR optics, laser optics, LIDT, system design challenges, and consumer markets.

Jessica Nelson PhD, Optimax Systems
L to R: Hausken, Jaeger, Rolland, Root, Nelson




Jannick Rolland, UofR, CeFFO








Attendance for SPIE Photonics West 2019:  22,866 (an increase of 4% overall!)

  • Technical Attendees:  6,993
  • Exhibition Visitors:  7,953
  • Exhibition Booth Staff:  7.920
  • Number of exhibiting companies:  1,394
  • Square footage sold: up 4%

Attendance for SPIE BIOS Expo 2019: Attendees: 8,827 (an increase of 12%!)

  • Number of exhibiting companies: 230
  • Square footage sold: up 18%

The Global Photonics Alliance met to look for shared interests among photonics clusters around the world. It comes as no surprise that developing talent to fill industry demand is high on the list.




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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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