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NYS Photonics Board moves forward with more funding for the Rochester area project

The New York State Photonics Board took more steps on Friday toward trying to attract more photonics manufacturers to come to the Rochester area. 

Governor Andrew Cuomo had announced during his State of the State address in January that he wants to allocate $30 million toward attracting photonics companies to the region.

On Friday, the photonics board endorsed that move. Vincent Esposito is the Regional Director for Empire State Development in the Finger Lakes.  He says this is all about creating more jobs for this area. 

“It  is getting to, what we all want, to see the long term goal and benefit be of having AIM Photonics headquartered here and that’s job creation and economic development, really for the next generation of technologies and what we’ve become used to with electronics, into photonics.”

Esposito says the money will mainly be used to provide incentives to get these companies to locate in this region.

"They'll be attracted to that facility because the equipment and expertise that exists there, we want them to make commitments to expand their manufacturing operations whether it’s across the street in Eastman Business Park proper, or in other parts of Rochester; so that will be the primary use of that $30 million,  is for incentives for companies to do that."

The AIM Photonics facility, which is a research and development operation on Lake Avenue, is expected to be ready for use this summer.

The Photonics Board on Friday also approved another $30 million in state money to continue to build out that facility.

The latest allocation of the state funding means that the Photonics Board has now approved recommendations for $247 million of the state's $250 million commitment to the project.

The total budget for AIM Photonics is nearly $613 million with the federal government committing $110 million and the state and other parties, including private sector companies, providing the rest of the funding.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.