Biden, Cuomo announce $110M in federal funds for photonics in Rochester
NY also commits $250M to initiative expected to have ripple effect in Upstate economy
Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office
Gov. Andrew Cuomo was joined today by Vice President Joe Biden to announce that New York has been selected by the Department of Defense to lead a prestigious, multi-state Integrated Photonics Institute for Manufacturing Innovation.
The selection is part of a White House initiative to secure the United States’ global leadership in emerging technology research, development, and manufacturing.
Photonics harnesses the power of light to move data at great speeds, and the research done at the new Institute will integrate photonics components to revolutionize computer chips, making them faster, smaller, and more reliable with a wide range of applications, including medical technology, defense, telecommunications, the Internet, and information technology.
A $110 million federal grant awarded to the SUNY Polytechnic-led “American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics” will support a high-tech consortium with business operations, a company incubator and accelerator, workforce training, and board of directors headquartered in Rochester.
Total public and private investment in the Photonic Institute will exceed $600 million, including more than $250 million by New York State to equip, install, and make operational a state-of-the-art photonics prototyping operation. The institute’s work will create and support thousands of advanced research and manufacturing jobs across Upstate and the United States and lead to major advances within a wide range of practical applications.
“New York has always been a leader when it comes to thinking big about what tomorrow holds – and today in Rochester, we’re seeing an even brighter vision for what the future will be,” Cuomo said. “This announcement is proof that the best is yet to come for New York’s high-tech industries. We’ve turned our economy around, we’re making the investments to keep it going, and this new Institute is another example of how Rochester is the vision for the economy of the future. I thank President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Defense Secretary Ash Carter for recognizing New York’s potential and joining us to make this announcement possible.”
Establishing this first-ever photonics consortium will create a New York-led national infrastructure that is widely accessible and financially self-sustaining. It is designed to scale into the future; ensuring innovation is based on new technology developed in the United States.
Additional operations will be headquartered at the SUNY Polytechnic Albany NanoTech Campus in addition to the business headquarters in Rochester, leading to the attraction of thousands of high tech jobs to the Rochester area and across Upstate.
“A new tech era officially begins in Rochester today. By combining the academic and research resources of the University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology, and SUNY Polytechnic Institute, with the hundreds of New York photonics companies; Rochester is now well-positioned to lead the way in this cutting-edge industry,” said U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer.
The Photonics Institute consists of more than 50 companies, 20 universities, 33 community colleges, and 16 non-profit organizations across 20 states including California and Massachusetts.
Advanced photonics research will be centered at the SUNY Poly nanotechnology megaplex in Albany, SUNY Poly’s Canal Ponds and Smart Technology and Commercialization facilities in Rochester and Canandaigua, the University of Rochester, and the Rochester Institute of Technology. In addition to the Department of Defense, the Institute will work closely with government partners, including the Departments of Energy and Commerce, NASA, and the National Science Foundation.
In order to maximize job creation and economic growth there was a strong focus on recruiting small and medium sized businesses, as well as start-ups. Resources will also be used for workforce training initiatives with the consortium’s community college partners and other programs including K-12 to help meet the growing demand in photonics and STEM-enabled careers.
“Headquartering a multi-state photonics center in the city of Rochester is a once-in-a-generation win for New York State and a testament to SUNY’s capacity to advance cutting-edge technologies and foster innovation,” said State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “We look forward to partnering with our colleagues in higher education, government, and the private sector on this initiative, which will ensure that our students and faculty remain at the forefront of innovation in New York and across the country.”