Alex Crichton / WXXI News

A local photonics company is cutting some jobs. ON Semiconductor is located on Lake Avenue, in the same facility used as the TAP,  or Testing, Assembly and Packaging operation that is part of the local AIM Photonics effort.

A story from 13-WHAM TV said that about 30 people are being laid off, but a spokesperson would only tell WXXI News that the company generally does not publish the number of employees who are laid off.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced $15 million  in additional funding for the Luminate NY business competition in Rochester. 

That competition focuses on the optics, photonics and imaging industry, and it's located in Sibley Square in the city’s Downtown Innovation Zone.

The program is administered by the local organization, NextCorps. The program supports the participating start-ups with help from industry experts and local universities.

Randy Gorbman / WXXI news

Ed White, who helps oversee the so-called TAP, or test, assembly and packaging facility, gave reporters a tour of the progress being made at the Rochester operation on Monday.

Crews have been working on it for months, bringing in specialized tools and other equipment. There are just a couple of dozen people working in that building now, although that may increase if the AIM Photonics effort continues to attract new customers.

When state and federal officials first talked about making Rochester a photonics hub a few years ago, some political leaders talked about the potential for it creating several thousand jobs.

(Waterloo Region Record photo / Peter Lee)

Three scientists from the United States, France and Canada have been awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for advances in laser physics. 

Half the $1 million prize goes  to Arthur Ashkin of the United States and the other half will be shared by Gerard Mourou of France and Canada's Donna Strickland. 

Both Mourou and Strickland have connections to the University of Rochester’s  Laboratory for Laser Energetics.

Strickland got her doctorate at UR in 1989 and Mourou is a former optics professor and scientist there.

Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

A Colorado-based company is the winner of the first round of New York State’s Luminate NY competition.

The announcement was made Thursday at a demonstration event held at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival.

Alex Crichton

Ribbon cutting ceremonies were held Wednesday on an expansion project at a former Kodak building on Lake Avenue, that now houses ON Semiconductor, which develops and builds sensor devices.

It's a company that Senior Vice President Mark Goranson says was considering moving its technology to a factory in Japan.

But getting AIM photonics here to cost-share the facility, plus incentives from the state, kept the company in Rochester.

State officials say that tool installation has begun on schedule at the AIM Photonics Test, Assembly and Packaging (TAP) facility in Rochester.

They also say that work on that photonics operation on Lake Avenue, near Eastman Business Park, is forecasted to come in $3.2 million dollars under budget.

This is all part of a more than $600 million effort with the federal government putting in $110 million  and the state and private sector among those entities that are making up the balance.

New York State has committed $250 million toward the 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. 

Rochester is known for its work in optics and photonics, and now an accelerator program hopes to expand the next generation of technology in these areas. But what's happening with photonics specifically in the region? Who are the companies who have received state support to grow their businesses in Rochester?

We have an update, and explore the Luminate NY initiative. Our guests:

Ten finalists, and 3 runners-up  in a competition that involves high-tech start-ups have now arrived in Rochester. They are all part of a state sponsored contest called Luminate NY  which is designed to help startup companies in the optics, photonics and imaging industries in Rochester.

Vincent Esposito is regional director for Empire State Development. He says the idea is to help these companies ramp up their operations and eventually contribute to the local economy.