Rochester Photonics Hub

Rochester will be the site of a new integrated photonics manufacturing innovation hub for the United States. Read WXXI News' coverage of this major economic development initiative and what it means for you and the region.

The monthly science roundtable returns, and this month we have a timely subject: the science and application of photonics. The roundtable:

  • Rob Clark, Senior vice president research, dean of Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and chairman of the AIM Photonics board of directors
  • Duncan Moore, professor of optics; director of entrepreneurship at University of Rochester
  • Mike Mandina, president of Optimax
  • Ryne Raffaelle, vice president of research at RIT

Veronica Volk / WXXI

Its official: A $110 million federal grant will be matched with half a billion dollars in public and private investments in order to create a Photonics Research and Manufacturing Hub in Rochester. Vice President Joe Biden, Under Secretary of Defense Frank Kendall, and Governor Andrew Cuomo came together with Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, Mayor Lovely Warren, and other prominent officials at the Canal Ponds Business Park to make the announcement.

Higher Education Is Key To Photonics Partnership

Jul 27, 2015
University of Rochester

Education, business and government: The three way partnership that led to Rochester becoming home of a federal American Institute for Manufacturing in Photonics.

At least two of this area’s college presidents are ready for the challenge outlined by Vice President Joe Biden, who said a trained workforce is a key to success.

RIT President Dr. Bill Destler agrees.

Vice President Joe Biden joined Governor Andrew Cuomo, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren, and other officials to announce that Rochester would be the home of the U.S. photonics manufacturing innovation hub. 

Photonics Adds To UR Goal To Boost Rochester

Jul 27, 2015

It may remind you of how Kodak used to lead our community back in the days when it printed money - or rather, film.

Now, the University of Rochester, through its 27-thousand member workforce, hopes to create positive change in a manner reminiscent of the old "Kodak town."

President Joel Seligman spoke about the effort with WXXI at the announcement Monday of the Photonic Institute award to Rochester.

Seligman chairs the regional economic development council, which works to turn “big picture” visions into real opportunity. He also runs our area's largest employer.

LISTEN: Speeches From The Photonics Institute

Jul 27, 2015

If you missed Monday's speeches regarding the photonics institute coming to Rochester, you can hear them here.

Vice President Joe Biden


Proponents of the optics and photonics institute that Vice President Joe Biden will formally announce during a visit to Rochester Monday have been working for years to achieve this result.

They can be forgiven then, if they sometimes get into the weeds when it comes to explaining what optics and photonics are all about. So here's a quick elevator speech to help.

Optic and photonics technologies drive computer and smartphone displays and are used in virtually every sector including medical research, engineering, aerospace and the automotive industry.

(Watch the great video explainer after the jump.)

Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

Vice President Joe Biden visits the Greece Canal Ponds Business Park for a speech on Monday morning.

It's for one of this area's most eagerly anticipated announcements in years and the Congresswoman who was key in  moving the project along believes it will help lead to an economic transformation in the Rochester area.