Corning Asks For Voluntary Layoffs in Canton Plant

Posted September 11, 2014 by rrpc
Categories: Economic Development, Manufacturing, Materials, New York State Optics

Union workers at Corning Inc.’s Canton plant have been asked to take unpaid voluntary layoffs because of a slowdown in customer demand for some products produced at the factory.

A notice posted at the plant Tuesday came less than three weeks after company officials broke ground on a $21 million expansion project that’s supposed to create 40 new permanent jobs.canton

“We’re hoping this is just a bump in the road,” said James H. Ridgeway, north country representative for the United Steelworkers, the union that represents about 130 hourly workers at the Canton plant. “We find it kind of ironic that this comes after they announce a big expansion.”

Company spokesman Joseph R. Dunning said the expansion will allow the company to increase the supply of products where customer demand is on the upswing. Those include specialized glass products for the Department of Defense and the aerospace industry.


Push for National Manufacturing Institute in Optics and Photonics is focus of RRPC Annual Meeting

Posted September 10, 2014 by rrpc
Categories: Economic Development, Events, New York State Optics

Tags: ,

The Rochester region is lighting the way to an exciting new era of collaboration aimed at fueling innovation and manufacturing in the nation’s Optics, Photonics and Imaging Industry.

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter delivers opening remarks at RRPC's Annual Meeting Sept. 4 as RRPC Executive Director Tom Battley looks on.

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter delivers opening remarks at RRPC’s Annual Meeting Sept. 4 as RRPC Executive Director Tom Battley looks on.

At the Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster Annual Meeting held Sept. 4 at the Rochester Museum and Science Center, leaders in business, government and academia called on the more than 200 attendees to join the push for creation of a National Manufacturing Institute (NMI) for Optics and Photonics to be centered in Rochester. The NMI would be part of a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation proposed by President Barack Obama, bringing together the nation’s research and manufacturing sectors in development of new technologies from concept to production, boosting innovation and increasing manufacturing jobs.

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY 25th), who has led the push in Congress for Rochester’s NMI designation, opened the Annual Meeting by reaffirming her support of the industry.

"Rochester is now leading a national effort," U of R CEIS Deputy Director Dr. Paul Ballentine told the crowd

“Rochester is now leading a national effort,” U of R CEIS Deputy Director Dr. Paul Ballentine told the crowd

“Landing an optics and photonics institute in Rochester would bring new jobs and a public-private joint investment of more than $140 million,” said Congresswoman Slaughter. “We’ve been working on this since 2012, and it’s not a sure bet, but we’re hopeful and continue to work hard to make it a reality.”

Attendees network after the meeting at the Rochester Museum and Science Center

Attendees network after the meeting at the Rochester Museum and Science Center

In June, the U.S. Department of Defense issued a Request for Information from the industry in consideration of a NMI for optics and photonics. The response was overwhelming, generating the most interest of any other industry on the shortlist for consideration.

Slaughter told the crowd that the Photonics Manufacturing and Innovation Consortium will meet in Washington D.C. this week to discuss the design of a possible NMI for photonics. The discussion, she said, “will give key stakeholders in industry, academia and government an opportunity to hear what has been learned so far in extensive discussions with the U.S. photonics  community and to provide feedback.”

The region has already received three major designations under President Obama’s plan to jumpstart U.S. manufacturing, the

State Senator Joseph Robach speaks during the Annual Meeting

State Senator Joseph Robach speaks during the Annual Meeting

most of any other region in the country, and all for optics and photonics.  Most recently, the City of Rochester won an Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership designation for the nine-county Finger Lakes region. The designation by the U.S. Department of Commerce will give the region preferred consideration when applying for a potential $1.3 billion in economic development grants, with particular focus on strengthening next-generation manufacturing and development in the areas of photonics,  optics and imaging.

Rochester is a nationally and internationally recognized leader in optics and photonics education, innovation and manufacturing. The region’s network of educational, research and manufacturing resources include:

  • More than 75 companies involved in optics, photonics and imaging development and manufacturing. They employ roughly 17,000 and account for more than $3 billion in annual sales.
  • Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) – Home to the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science, and the Center for Integrated Manufacturing/Golisano Institute of Sustainability. RIT has more than $11 million in active awards for research in the fields of optics and photonics.
  • University of Rochester – Research in optics and photonics is centered in U of R’s Institute of Optics, Laboratory for Laser Energetics and URnano. The Center for Emerging and Innovative Sciences (CEIS) brings together companies and university researchers who have a common interest and encourages them to collaborate. Scholarships were made available through a grant from the Employee and Training Administration in the U.S. Department of Labor for high-tech job training at U of R and RIT. The ETA grant is part of a multi-agency grant program that promotes advanced manufacturing jobs creation in regions having strong industrial clusters.
  • Monroe Community College – Its Optical System Technology Program develops technicians for the optics and electro optics workforce.

A panel of speakers answered audience questions, mainly centered on the topic of the NMI designation. The panel included:

  • Steve Anderson, Industry and Marketing Strategist for SPIE
  • Paul Ballentine, Deputy Director, CEIS, University of Rochester
  • Susan Christopherson, Professor and Department Chair, Cornell University Department of City and Regional Planning
  • Ryne Rafaelle, Vice President for Research and Associate Provost, RIT
  • Kevin Füchsel, Head of Strategy, Marketing and Coordination at Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering

Also in attendance were New York State Senator Joseph Robach, (R-56th), and New York State Assemblyman Mark Johns (R-135th).

Attendees listen as panelists answer audience questions

Attendees listen as panelists answer audience questions

Dr. Ballentine spoke about the importance of bringing together competitors in business and academia for the common goal of growing the industry nationwide.

“Rochester is leading a national effort now,” he said. “We’re taking the high road and doing what’s right not only for Rochester, but the whole country.”

Other nations have already successfully developed similar manufacturing institutes. Attendees heard from Dr. Füchsel about the history and structure of the Fraunhofer Institute, which is a collaboration between academia, business and government, developing and applying new technologies to marketable products.

“You have to collaborate to get good products. Rochester is a good place to collaborate,” Dr. Füchsel said.

The U.S., followed by Germany, is home to the largest percentage of the 2,748 companies that manufacture and ship core photonics components worldwide, such as LEDs, lasers, detectors, images sensors and optical filters, according to a SPIE market analysis. But American and German companies fall behind Japan when it comes to revenues from these companies, said SPIE’s Anderson. In 2012, Japanese firms accounted for nearly half of the $156 billion in revenues from sales of core components. Anderson said that the vast majority of  U.S. photonics industry is largely made up of smaller firms, which accounts for the discrepancy. It is hoped a NMI for optics and photonics could help boost those revenue numbers in the U.S.

RRPC announces annual awards recipients

Posted September 9, 2014 by rrpc
Categories: Awards

Tags: ,

The Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster/New York Photonics (RRPC) has honored three leaders in education and business for their contributions to New York’s Optics and Photonics Industry.

RRPC Executive Director Tom Battley presented the awards in front of more than 200 representatives of industry, government and education from across the region at the RRPC’s 2014 Annual Meeting on Sept. 4 at the Rochester Museum and Science Center.

Michael Pavia

Michael Pavia

The RRPC Entrepreneur Award recipient for 2014 is Sydor Instruments Co-Founder and President Michael Pavia, who was recognized for demonstrating creativity, innovative spirit and drive in pursuit of the dream of creating an industry-leading company in the optics, photonics and imaging industry. Sydor Instruments provides custom diagnostics and ultrafast imaging systems, specializing in streak cameras, smart cameras and electro-optic detection techniques. Pavia’s company recently acquired the UK-based ballistics testing system supplier Sabre Ballistics. The deal doubles the size of Sydor’s international customer base, with a projected 50 percent increase in revenues. Pavia is an Adjunct Professor in Entrepreneurship at the University of Rochester’s Simon Graduate School of Business.

Jay Eastman

Jay Eastman

The RRPC Leadership Award recipient for 2014 is Dr. Jay Eastman, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of  Optel, Inc. Eastman was recognized for his work with fellow members of the RRPC and the community to advance the region’s optics, photonics and imaging industry. His company designs and manufactures medical products and provides medical device regulatory compliance assistance for third party customers. Previously, as CEO of Lucid, Inc., he directed the development, manufacture and sale of non-invasive medical imaging devices for the diagnosis of skin cancers and other dermatological disease. Prior to Lucid, Eastman founded Optel Systems, Inc., the first company to develop, manufacture and sell laser diode based bar code scanners. The company was acquired by PSC Inc. in 1986.


Stephen Jacobs

Stephen Jacobs     

   The RRPC Education Award recipient for 2014 is Dr. Stephen Jacobs, Professor of Optics and Chemical Engineering at the University of Rochester, and Senior Scientist at U of R’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE). He was recognized for inspiring students to embrace optics, photonics and imaging sciences and guiding them in career development.  Jacobs has spent his entire career working in the LLE, where he became a Senior Scientist in 1982. He developed the innovative Optics Suitcase educational initiative, designed to introduce middle school age students to the exciting range of concepts within the study of light. To date, 701 suitcases have been assembled and distributed to educators worldwide. Each case includes a teaching guide and materials for demonstrations and experiments that teach optics in a fun, interactive atmosphere.

A special presentation was made to Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY 25th Dist.) in honor of her late husband, Robert Slaughter. The RRPC has donated $2,500 in Mr. Slaughter’s name to the Dr. Walter Cooper Academy Fund of the Rochester Education Foundation. The funds will be used to purchase books for students at the City of Rochester school. Mr. Slaughter, who passed away earlier this year, was remembered as an avid reader who valued education.


East High School Vision Optics Program

Posted September 3, 2014 by rrpc
Categories: Workforce Development News

Go Logan!  Go East High


New York Photonics Annual Meeting

Posted September 2, 2014 by rrpc
Categories: Economic Development, Manufacturing, Markets, National Photonics Initiative, New York State Optics, Photonics, Photovoltaics, Politics, R&D Policy, Rochester Conferences, RRPC Calendar

Thursday, September 4, 2014
3:30PM – 6:30PM
Rochester Museum & Science Center
Registration begins at 3:00PM

The registration landing page is here



Opening remarks by
Congresswoman Louise Slaughter
Representative New York’s 25th District 

Speakers and Panelists

  • Kevin Füchsel, Head of Department Strategy – Marketing – Coordination, Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering
  • Steve Anderson, Industry and Market Strategist for SPIE; former Editor-In-Chief, Laser Focus World
  • Susan Christopherson, Professor and Department Chair, Cornell University Department of City and Regional Planning
  • Paul Ballentine, Executive Director, Center for Emerging and Innovative Sciences University of Rochester

Panel moderator: Ryne Rafaelle, PhD, Vice President for Research & Associate Provost, Rochester Institute of Technology

America’s Optics, Photonics, Imaging Innovation Culture:
Is a National Institute in New York’s Future?
The National Academies report, Optics & Photonics: Essential Technologies for Our Nation; the National Photonics Initiative.  The Obama administration and the Department of Defense are looking to establish national manufacturing institutes for technologies that are key to America’s future. Successful global Optics and Photonics manufacturing institutes such as Fraunhofer in Germany have existed for years. Can New York help America catch up?

Panel Discussion: Innovation and Commercialization Institutes.  Do they work?  Is a U.S. institute in Optics and Photonics important to national security?  Is it important to New York?

Audience:    RRPC members, CEO’s and management;  economic development stakeholders; high technology entrepreneurs and service professionals; investment professionals, CPA’s, attorneys,
economic & workforce development professionals.

3:00 – 3:30    Sign-in
3:30 – 4:00    Introductory remarks
4:00 – 5:30    Panel Discussion and audience interaction
5:30 – 6:30    Networking / refreshments

Sydor Instruments acquires SABRE Ballistics

Posted August 24, 2014 by rrpc
Categories: Acquisitions, RRPC Member News

Tags: ,

Sydor Instruments aims to significantly grow its newly acquired SABRE Ballistics business by introducing the ballistics testing product line to the U.S. through its customer base in the security and defense industries.

Rochester’s Sydor acquired the UK-based ballistics equipment  firm this month, doubling the size of its international customer base, with a projected 50 percent increase in revenues. Sydor will pair its existing high-speed image capture products with SABRE’s portfolio of more 60 products, along with complete design, installation and training services.sydorlogoIII

As  part of the deal, and to ensure a smooth transition, Sydor Instruments President Michael Pavia will also take on the role of Managing Director of SABRE Ballistics. David Balfour, formerly Managing Director of SABRE Ballistics, will now become U.K. Operations Executive, and Martyn Eccles, formerly Technical Director of SABRE Ballistics, will now become U.K. Engineering Manager. Both Balfour and Eccles will remain with the company for an extended period of time to ensure continuity and a smooth transition.

“The acquisition of SABRE Ballistics significantly expands our international footprint to 33 countries around the world. We will continue to offer SABRE’s comprehensive portfolio of more than 60 products along with complete design, installation and training services that have always been a hallmark of the company,” Pavia said. “In addition we will now be able to offer the Sydor Ballistics Imaging systems to current SABRE customers. We also expect to significantly grow the SABRE Ballistics business by introducing their product portfolio to the U.S. through our customer base in the security and defense industries.”

To learn more about SABRE Ballistics products, visit

Latest New Scale Technologies focus module boosts OEM camera performance

Posted August 24, 2014 by rrpc
Categories: New Products, RRPC Member News

Tags: ,

The world’s only all-in-one focus system for OEM cameras is now improved, with three-times greater dynamic tilt and linear accuracy for industrial, medical and scientific applications.

New Scale Technologies' mini all-in-one focus module has improved tilt, accuracy and dynamic stability for high-performance embedded camera systems

New Scale Technologies’ mini all-in-one focus module has improved tilt, accuracy and
dynamic stability for high-performance embedded camera systems

New Scale Technologies of Victor has released the M3-FS focus module, a drop-in replacement for its original M3-F system, with compatible size and identical electrical connections and software commands. Its superior dynamic stability minimizes pixel shift with changing camera orientation, making it ideal for use in hand-held, portable and mobile camera systems.

Like its predecessor, the M3-FS features embedded closed-loop control and takes simple, high-level motion commands from the camera processor. It operates on 3.3 VDC with very low power needed to move the lens, and zero power needed to hold the lens in position, which makes the M3-FS ideal for battery-powered devices.

“The new M3-FS offers even higher performance in the same, easy-to-integrate platform,” said New Scale’s Chief Technical Officer David Henderson.

The module’s aluminum structure and internal ball-bearing guide improves accuracy over its predecessor’s molded polymer construction and internal pin-bushing lens guide. The M3-FS accepts lens diameters up to M16.

For more information, go to:





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