Cuomo: set aside $30 million to help market photonics initiative

Jan 3, 2018

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State message includes a proposal to set aside money to promote the photonics effort in the Rochester area.

Cuomo wants to allocate $30 million toward marketing and providing incentives for photonics companies thinking of locating in the Rochester area.

The state has already committed $250 million toward the AIM Photonics initiative, and the $30 million would be part of that.

Vincent Esposito, the Regional Director for Empire State Development in the Finger Lakes, says the process of attracting photonics companies is intended to be a long term process, and this money will help jumpstart the marketing efforts.

“What we really want to do now is get the word out to companies that are manufacturing products using integrated photonics that they can locate here and we have incentives to help make that happen,” Esposito told WXXI News.”

Esposito says that,  “you can really look at it as a marketing effort, but it’s a serious amount of dollars that should get attention of companies from all over the world as we have been doing over the last year with things like the Luminate NY competition for optics, photonics and imaging companies as well.”

There is a facility in leased space on Lake Avenue in Rochester that will be used for testing, assembly and packaging, and reportedly several people have been hired.

But area political and business leaders are hopeful that eventually, photonics brings many more jobs here after various manufacturers decided to locate in the Rochester area.

Esposito says that right now, there are already nearly 20,000 people working on the photonics, optics and imaging areas in the Rochester region and he is confident the industry will evolve here.