Federal budget earmarks $300 million for National Network for Manufacturing Innovation

Posted December 15, 2014 by rrpc
Categories: Economic Development, Manufacturing, New York State Optics, Photonics, Workforce Development News

Tags: , ,

The Rochester region may be one step closer to its future as a National Manufacturing Institute centering on optics and photonics with the passage of the $1.1 trillion federal budget over the weekend.

Among the appropriations, $300 million has been designated under the Revitalize American Manufacturing Innovation Act (RAMI) to establish up to 15 centers for manufacturing innovation, public-private partnerships which would bring together research universities, community colleges, and small- to mid-sized manufacturers. The goal is to spur innovation and reduce the cost, time and risk of commercializing new and improved technologies. Each manufacturing consortium would also include training and education initiatives to fill advanced manufacturing jobs. As of 2009, the U.S. was ranked only 27th of 29 developed countries in the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded in science and engineering.

Rep. Tom Reed pushed for passage of the Revitalize American Manufacturing Act

Rep. Tom Reed pushed for passage of the Revitalize American Manufacturing Act

Republican Rep. Tom Reed, whose N.Y. 23rd District includes Corning, led the push for the RAMI in the U.S. House of Representatives, along with Rep. Joe Kennedy, D-Mass.  The bill was championed on the Senate side by Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand also backed the proposal.

“We have worked tirelessly to get this to the finish line – it was our main focus for this year and during the lame duck session,” Reed said after the bill was included in the House’s omnibus spending package last week.

“RAMI will create new high-tech, high-paying manufacturing jobs for our children and grandchildren. It’s only fair that we have opportunities to create and innovate here at home,” Reed said.

The initiative is intended to further President Barak Obama’s goal of  establishing 45 different advanced manufacturing centers over the next 10 years. Several hubs have already been established using existing funds from the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy, including manufacturing centers in power electronics, lightweight materials, and additive manufacturing, focusing on 3-D printing.

Rochester already has a proven track record in pioneering innovative manufacturing initiatives, which makes the region a front-runner for the establishment of a National Manufacturing Institute centered on photonics, said RRPC Executive Director Tom Battley.

“Rochester proved, with the Center for Optics Manufacturing, that you don’t need to spend $200 million or even $100 million to make extraordinary breakthroughs in innovative manufacturing processes for America’s critical light-based technologies,” Battley said. “I think we can do as much or maybe more at a small COM2 with less than $10 million in funding than with something like the giant NMIs that have been announced since the president introduced the NNMI. Too many cooks, you know?”

The National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) will be administered through the National Institute of Standards and Technology, with funds reallocated from the Department of Energy. NIST is charged with developing a strategic plan by next fall for the administration of the program. Advice on the strategic plan will be solicited from stakeholders in industry, academia and government.




American Apprenticeship Grant competition

Posted December 12, 2014 by rrpc
Categories: Economic Development, Education & Training, New York State Optics, Optics, Workforce Development News

Tags: , , ,

$100 Million.

This is the largest single federal investment in apprenticeship ever in the U.S.

Its aim is to transform our workforce for the 21st century.

Through this grant, the Department of Labor will expand apprenticeships from the traditional skilled trades to new high-tech, high-demand industries like healthcare, IT, advanced manufacturing, and others. These grants will help programs that create career pathways and align with post-secondary education – so apprenticeships are never an either/or proposition between starting out on an exciting career path and getting an education. And the grants will encourage strong public-private partnerships to ensure these apprenticeships are sustainable for the long run.


Projection Mapping as Public Art

Posted December 12, 2014 by rrpc
Categories: Art

Finger Lakes Regional Center Awarded $675,000

Posted December 11, 2014 by rrpc
Categories: Economic Development, Education & Training, Freeform Optics, Lasers, Manufacturing, National Photonics Initiative, New York State Optics, Optics, Photonics, Politics, Uncategorized

The Finger Lakes Regional Center for Advanced Optics Manufacturing was awarded $675,000 today in the New York State Regional Economic Development Competition.

Kudos to the FLREDC Optics & Photonics Committee and its chairmen, Jim Sydor of Sydor Optics and Jay Eastman of Optel for their leadership.

The money will be used to purchase two pieces of shared-use equipment, including a Zygo Infrared Interferometer and an OptiPro UltraSurf to aid the region’s optics manufacturers in developing more advanced, more competitive components for a variety of end users and markets.

With Optipro’s UltrSurf metrology instrument the local optical companies will be able to accurately measure free-form optics.

With the Zygo 3.39 micron IR interferometer will be used to measure flatness of Infrared materials such as Silicon and Germanium.

Rochester Business Journal Coverage here.

Klip Collective Projection Mapped Ritual Light

Posted December 10, 2014 by rrpc
Categories: Art

Klip Collective participated in the 2014 Art Vision Classic competition as a part of the Circle of Light Festival in Moscow, Russia. Klip’s piece Meridian, directed by Josh James, “is a ritual of architecture, designed to invoke the spirits of universal geometry.” The projection-mapped piece ran October 10-14 on the facade of Pavilion 1 at VDNH Exhibition Center.


Optics Community Mourns the Passing of Robert Novak

Posted December 10, 2014 by rrpc
Categories: Education & Training, New York State Optics, Optics

Tags: , , ,

Conesus Lake: December 6, 2014 at age 67 after a long battle with COPD and Emphysema. Predeceased by parents Rudy and Irene Novak. Survived by wife Linda (Frear); son Brett (Heather Graning Novak); granddaughter Nadia Clare Novak. Niece & nephew in law Heather & Chad Petersen. Aunts Betty Romanowski and Dolores Kohler. Frear Family, Szczech, Romanowski & Kohler cousins.
Graduate of Aquinas Institute, MCC, University of Arizona, post grad studies at U of R Institute of Optics. Honorary life member Optical Society of America, Member of SPIE, Board Member and former Secretary of Board of American Precision Optics Manufacturing Association. He was a Professor Emeritus at MCC, Chair of Optical Engineering Technology Department from 1975-2008, Chair of MCC Engineering Technology Division, Member of 32nd degree Shrine Unity Lodge #457 Rochester, and past member of the Livonia Board of Education. He was a member of Oak Hill Country Club for 27 years where he played lousy golf. He excelled in his roll of Play-Doh assistant and Barbie Doll dresser for his adored boss Nadia.

Bob was proud of his long association with the optics industry both locally and nationally. He set high standards for the optics program and his students at MCC.

His family would like to extend sincere thanks to the wonderful staff, nurses and doctors at Strong 8-1600. Also love and thanks to all of our family and friends.

As per Bob’s wishes, calling hours and services will not be observed. Memorials may be made to Livonia Ambulance Fund, PO Box 8, Livonia, NY 14487 or

Also, a special request to help the ones you love to stop smoking. Arrangements Kevin W Dougherty Funeral Home, Inc., Livonia – Honeoye. To send a condolence or for further information please visit Dougherty Funeral Home here.

Monroe Community College Obituary here.

RIT scientists investigating ‘sprayable’ telescope lenses

Posted December 9, 2014 by rrpc
Categories: Optics, Research

Tags: ,

Telescope lenses someday might come in aerosol cans.

Scientists at Rochester Institute of Technology and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory are exploring a new type of space telescope with an aperture made of swarms of particles released from a canister and controlled by a laser.

RIT Associate Professor Grover Swartzlander is the co-investigator on the "orbiting rainbows" project.

RIT Associate Professor Grover Swartzlander is the co-investigator on the “orbiting rainbows” project.

These floating lenses would be larger, cheaper and lighter than apertures on conventional space-based imaging systems like NASA’s Hubble and James Webb space telescopes, said Grover Swartzlander, associate professor at RIT’s Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science and Fellow of the Optical Society of America. Swartzlander is a co-investigator on the Jet Propulsion team led by Marco Quadrelli.

NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts Program is funding the second phase of the “orbiting rainbows” project that attempts to combine space optics and “smart dust,” or autonomous robotic system technology. The smart dust is made of a photo-polymer, or a light-sensitive plastic, covered with a metallic coating.

“Our motivation is to make a very large aperture telescope in space and that’s typically very expensive and difficult to do,” Swartzlander said. “You don’t have to have one continuous mass telescope in order to do astronomy—it can be distributed over a wide distance. Our proposed concept could be a very cheap, easy way to achieve large coverage, something you couldn’t do with the James Webb-type of approach.”

More: http://www.engineering.com/DesignerEdge/DesignerEdgeArticles/ArticleID/9098/Sprayable-Telescope-Lenses.aspx


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