Empire State Development News Release: NYS Photonics Board of Officers Meet and Recommend Second Round of State Funding for AIM Photonics in Rochester

Empire State Development News Release: NYS Photonics Board of Officers Meet and Recommend Second Round of State Funding for AIM Photonics in Rochester

Monday, March 6, 2017 - 09:38
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Board also announces GE and Mentor Graphics as new Tier 1 Members of AIM Photonics; AIM Photonics will begin hiring for TAP  facility set to open this summer

March 3, 2017

The New York State Photonics Board of Officers met today and approved the state’s $81 million expense budget for American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics).  The board met at AIM Photonics’ newly selected Testing, Assembly and Packaging (TAP) facility.  First announced by Vice President Joe Biden and Governor Cuomo in July 2015, AIM 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.

“AIM Photonics is hitting its stride in 2017,” said New York State Photonics Board of Officers Chairman John Maggiore. “The momentum of the institute continues to grow as we get closer to opening the TAP facility, which will build upon Rochester and New York State’s leadership in advanced technology innovation.”

The $81 million is the second tranche of state expenditures approved by the board of the $250 million total over five years that New York State committed to the project.  Last year, $106 million was approved by the board.  The total budget for AIM Photonics is $612,877,000 with the federal government committing $110 million and the state and other parties, including private sector companies, providing the balance.  New York State’s $81 million, which covers the period April 1, 2017 through March 31, 2018, includes $71 million for capital tools and equipment and $10 million for operating and maintenance.  Overall, the capital budget is front end loaded to allow the establishment of TAP facility early in the life cycle to enable AIM’s sustainability through industry relationship and commercial engagement with enough lead time to revenue generation.

The TAP term sheet between AIM and ON Semiconductor was also signed today.  This is an important step toward the state-of-the-art AIM Photonics manufacturing facility being up and running by June 2017.  The new TAP facility will also have capacity to serve as the AIM administrative headquarters, allowing the institute to be located under one roof for maximum operating efficiency and synergies, while saving taxpayer dollars. AIM has posted several new jobs to work at the AIM TAP facility.  AIM is seeking candidates who want to change the future of photonics by putting their expertise and capabilities to work on a wide variety of projects and technologies; and who thrive in working collaboratively with AIM Photonics co-workers, members and partners.   Careers at AIM Photonics will be posted here.

In other news, General Electric (GE) and Mentor Graphics were announced by AIM Photonics CEO Dr. Michael Liehr as new AIM Tier 1 partners, demonstrating the continued swell of support for the initiative.  AIM Photonics is building a membership that includes some of the country’s most innovative technology companies that each provides critical elements to the success of the institute. Both GE and Mentor Graphics will play a key role within the institute.  GE is working with AIM on a large project on integrated photonic sensors and a significant portion of the program will take place at the TAP facility.  Mentor Graphics is a leading Electronic Design Automation company that contributes to enhanced design tools that will facilitate future integrated photonics design and enable a smooth operation of the AIM multi-project wafer program.

The board also discussed the upcoming $10 million, multi-year Photonics Venture Challenge, announced by Governor Cuomo in January 2017.  This business competition will aim to support start-up companies focused on optics, photonics and imaging technologies that commercialize rapidly developing technologies through a business accelerator program and a top award of $1 million to the most promising start-up company. High Tech Rochester (HTR) is in the process of establishing the framework for the Challenge. HTR plans to hire several full-time employees to run the challenge; and it is in the process of establishing a name for the Challenge, a brand, application details and a website where the information can be found.  HTR expects to begin publicizing the challenge this spring with applications due for review later in the spring.

AIM Photonics is one of 14 Manufacturing Innovation Institutes, an industry-driven public-private partnership that focuses the nation’s premiere capabilities and expertise to capture critical global manufacturing leadership in a technology that is both essential to national security and positioned to provide a compelling return-on-investment to the U.S. economy. For more information about AIM Photonics, visit http://www.aimphotonics.com/jobs/.

About the New York State Photonics Board of Officers The New York State Photonics Board of Officers coordinates New York State’s significant financial investments with AIM. The board of officers consists of seven members who represent a wide array of business, programmatic, and technical expertise. The Governor of New York State appoints the Chairman and two additional members; SUNY Poly Institute appoints two members; and the Rochester Institute of Technology and University of Rochester each appoint one member. The Photonics Institute Board of Officers is comprised of: John Maggiore, Chair, Governor appointee; Anne Kress, Governor appointee; Alexander Cartwright, Governor appointee; Bahgat Sammakia, SUNY Poly appointee; Jeff Cheek, SUNY Poly appointee; Ryne Raffaele, Rochester Institute of Technology appointee; and Rob Clark, University of Rochester appointee.

Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward Today’s announcement complements “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $3.4 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Rochester, Batavia and Canandaigua as a destination to grow and invest in.

Now, the region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 8,200 new jobs. More information is available here.​

Contact: Laura Magee (ESD) | laura.magee@esd.ny.gov | (716) 846-8239 | (800) 260-7313 Shari Voorhees-Vincent (ESD) | Shari.Voorhees-Vincent@esd.ny.gov | (585) 399-7055 ESD Press Office | PressOffice@esd.ny.gov | (800) 260-7313