Cornell President and Commission Ignore Optics

In an article in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle from the Gannett Albany bureau, Cara Matthews reports that Cornell University President David Skorton spoke to lawmakers about the importance of investing in key high technology “sunrise” industries.

The entire world sees New York State, and Rochester, as one of maybe two or three global centers for Optics, Photonics and Imaging dominance. Across the globe, countries are investing billions to compete with us. We contacted President Skorton concerning the governor’s omission of Optics and Photonics from the original task force mission, and we were assured the Optics and Photonics would be included in the recommendations because Wendell Weeks, Corning’s CEO, was part of the commission. Yet Optics, Photonics and Imaging were not identified as critical investment areas in the final report. We can only assume that the outcome of the report was predetermined, or that little real research into New York high technology industries was actually undertaken.

This is a sharp stick in the eye for Rochester, and for the hundreds of Optics, Photonics and Imaging companies that are hiring across the state even as the report was released.

What does it take for a group of elite university presidents and high ranking corporate pols to recognize within their midst an industry that is apparent to economic development and high technology communities around the world?

See the article here.

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