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NYS Aims to Win Integrated Photonics IMI for Rochester

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New York State has committed $250 million as part of a Rochester-based, NYS-led application to bring the Integrated Photonics Institute for Manufacturing Innovation (IMI) to the Empire State. Last fall, President Barack Obama announced a national competition for an Integrated Photonics IMI that could be the largest of a series of regional hubs that will accelerate the development of innovative manufacturing technologies.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), the Integrated Photonics IMI will be the fourth DoD-led manufacturing institute since August 2012, when a pilot program was launched. The winner of the Integrated Photonics IMI competition will receive $110 million in federal funds, but must match this amount with at least $110 in non-federal commitments.
Last December, Rep. Louise Slaughter requested a funding commitment in a letter to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. The $250 million that New York State pledged has made the Rochester-based, NYS-led application a finalist in the federal competition for the institute. “The strong industry and state support we’ve built,” Rep. Slaughter said, “gives our application the advantage needed to compete and win”.
State and industry leaders have partnered with SUNY Polytechnic Institute, the University of Rochester, and the Rochester Institute of Technology in bidding to bring the Integrated Photonics IMI to Rochester. The region is home to more than 17,000 jobs in photonics and optics, fields with military applications such as lasers and battlefield imaging.
After years of downsizing by Kodak, Xerox, and other large manufacturers, Rochester has experienced a manufacturing resurgence. Last year, for example, the Greater Rochester / Finger Lakes region became a manufacturing partnership community during Round 1 of the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) initiative. Will Rochester and NYS win the Integrated Photonics IMI, too?
Image Credit: © sframe/Dollar Photo Club

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