Archive for May 2014

ABVI invites developers, manufacturers to talk new tech for visually impaired

May 31, 2014

The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired is calling on local firms interested in developing the next generation of assistive technologies for the blind and low vision community.

ABVIResearchers and representatives from engineering services firms and manufacturers interested in developing and commercializing these technologies are invited to ABVI’s Low Vision Technology Industry Day on June 12.  Attendees will tour ABVI’s Rehabilitation Center and other facilities, and hear from Dr. Katherine White, OD, ABVI Managing Director of Low Vision Services, about current low-vision technologies and the unmet needs of the more than 25 million Americans who are blind or visually impaired.  The association’s Employment and Adaptive Technology Specialist Chris Frank will also be on hand.

The low-vision community represents a $30 billion marketplace, ABVI estimates, which could be helped by technologies including readers, scanners, magnifiers, video enhancers, audio assistants, sensors and apps. Current assistive technologies are often inadequate, expensive and have limited market penetration.

The Low Vision Technology Industry Day will take place from 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. June 12 at ABVI, 422 Clinton Ave. S.  Lunch will be provided.  Attendance is free of charge but limited.

Register online at



Potential $1.3 billion in federal grants will focus on boosting Rochester photonics industry

May 29, 2014

The photonics and optics industry in the greater Rochester region is in line to benefit from an estimated $1.3 billion in federal economic development funds, as the region has been named a national “Manufacturing Community” under the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership Program (IMCP).

The designation by the U.S. Department of Commerce, announced May 28, will give the nine-county Finger Lakes region preferred consideration when applying for economic development grants, with particular focus on strengthening next-generation manufacturing and development  in the areas of photonics, optics and imaging.

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren led the push for the Rochester region's IMCP designation

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren led the push for the Finger Lakes region’s IMCP designation

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren led the push for the  IMCP designation, calling it the “top priority” of her new administration. Warren said her office worked with U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, and Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, to develop and advocate for the proposal, which was formally submitted earlier this year by the City of Rochester.

“I am thrilled that Rochester’s value as a global manufacturing hub with unlimited potential is being recognized by the Department of Commerce and the Obama Administration,”  Warren said.  “Make no mistake — Rochester is on the map as one of the nation’s most vibrant, skilled and innovative cities to do business.”

In a letter to Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker in support of the city’s application, Schumer singled out the region’s photonics cluster as “critical” to the Finger Lakes economy.

“The Finger Lakes is home to the most robust, sophisticated and highly integrated optics, photonics and imaging supply chain in the nation,” Schumer wrote. “By coordinating efforts and building on areas of strength, including an educated workforce, world-class educational and research institutions, the region’s manufacturing ecosystem, and key infrastructure like  Eastman Business Park, we can accelerate the resurgence of manufacturing in the region.”

The “Manufacturing Community” designation is aimed at revitalizing the manufacturing industry in nine Finger Lakes counties, opening the door to the $1.3 billion in federal funds for local economic development efforts, support of new job development and advancement of economic opportunity, especially in Eastman Business Park.

Among the goals will be to  identify and leverage new sources of capital to spur the development of new businesses and the expansion of existing small businesses through creation of a business expansion fund, development of the proposed Finger Lakes Business Accelerator Cooperative, expansion of the Finger Lakes Regional Photonics Cluster Industry Lab, and development of  an investment fund which promotes the links between the region’s higher education system and industries exploring emerging markets.

The Rochester region was selected from 70 communities that submitted applications for the program. Selected communities are assigned federal liaisons to help navigate the funding application process.


Vincent Associates Celebrates 45 Years

May 23, 2014


Rochester’s Vincent Associates is marking 45 years of manufacturing high performance and high quality electronic shutter systems for applications worldwide.

In May 1969 the company shipped its first product, the 225X, a 25mm two-bladed shutter used in photographic applications, early video cameras and laser systems. Today, the RRPC member has expanded its UNIBLITZ product line to include more than seven shutter series for use in microscopy, medical imaging, CCD, video and low-level laser switching, among other applications where total light extinction is demanded. The company also offers mounting systems, cables, drivers and accessories. Vincent has custom capabilities which allow customers to create the exact applications they need.Microscopy video shutter - VS14_full

“Forty-five years in business marks a milestone in the history of Vincent Associates,” said company President Stephen Pasquarella. “Over the past 45 years, Vincent Associates has provided its customers with shutter devices that meet and often exceed their expectations, as well as their specifications.”

The company will exhibit its product line at SPIE’s Optics and Photonics 2014 Conference,  Aug. 17-21 in San Diego.

Sydor Instruments Partners With UK Ballistics Firm

May 23, 2014

Sydor Instruments is now a one-stop source for ultrafast ballistic imaging and ballistic test systems.

ballistic-testing-equipment3The RRPC member recently inked a deal with UK-based SABRE Ballistics to become its sole U.S. sales and applications partner. SABRE’s integrated ballistic test equipment, combined with Sydor’s expertise in high-speed image capture and custom diagnostics, now allows Sydor toFlightPg_SystemPic_line (2) offer comprehensive testing solutions to customers for defense and scientific applications.

“SABRE’s unmatched experience in ballistics and hardware design, instrumentation and analysis, combined with Sydor’s ballistics imaging capability, allows us to offer the most complete portfolio of ballistics testing and analysis solutions in the industry,” said Sydor Instruments President Michael Pavia. “This will greatly benefit our customers in the security and defense industries where the need for speed, accuracy, repeatability and reliability is paramount.”

Excellent Business Opportunities for RRPC Members at Optatec Frankfurt

May 21, 2014
QED President Andrew Kulawiec makes another convert during the last minutes of the exhibition on Thursday

QED President Andrew Kulawiec makes another convert during the last minutes of the exhibition on Thursday

Representatives from several RRPC member companies attended Europe’s largest exhibition for optics, optical systems and components this week in Frankfurt, Germany.

The RRPC, JML Optical Industries, Rochester Precision Optics, QED Technology Inc., Corning Tropel Corp., and the IDEX companies Semrock and CVI/Melles Griot were among the 585 exhibitors at Optatec, May 20-22. Sydor Optics also attended, meeting with customers on the exhibition floor.

This is the first time the photonics cluster has attended Optatec, helped in part by the Economic Development Administration component of  the Rochester Regional Optics, Photonics and Imaging Accelerator.  The goal of the EDA is cluster, business and technology development, part of which includes funding for RRPC’s  presence at foreign trade shows.







Photovoltaics Engineers in Remote Places

May 11, 2014

2015 is The Year Of Light And Light-based Technologies. What project are you embracing?

Here’s a story about a bold idea and a woman that chose a remarkable path for herself and her village.

“Only about 34 per cent of Belize’s largely rural southern region have access to the electric grid. The rest burn kerosene priced at a high $10 per gallon or depend on wax candles and batteries to light flash lights. It is in such villages like Santa Teresa in Belize that Tilonia’s Barefoot College goes to find its women to be trained in solar engineering.”

Rochester Designated for NIST Grant, Charting a Photonics Manufacturing Initiative

May 8, 2014

New York Photonics Manufacturing Initiative

Goal: Assist in developing national and regional technology roadmaps for the U.S. photonics industry and laying the groundwork for a national institute dedicated to advancing and diffusing photonics-based manufacturing technologies.

Lead: University of Rochester, Center for Emerging and Innovative Sciences
260 Hutchison Rd.
Rochester, NY14627

Award Number: 70NANB14H054

Federal Funding: $498,430

Project Duration:  18 months

The University of Rochester and its partners, including leading U.S. optics and photonics manufacturers, will work closely with the National Photonics Initiative to develop a National Technology Roadmap for Photonics. This roadmap will forecast the introduction of key new technologies and identify manufacturing challenges that, if solved, can strengthen the competitiveness of domestic photonics companies and bring photonics manufacturing back to the United States. Guided by the roadmap, the New York Photonics Manufacturing Initiative also will lay the foundation for a national consortium devoted to advanced manufacturing technologies for photonics. In concert, the initiative will develop a regional implementation roadmap that leverages New York’s human, infrastructural, and technical resources.

The United States has been the world leader in developing photonics technologies. Fiber optics, photovoltaics, lasers, digital imaging, and flat panel displays are U.S. inventions. However, the U.S. share of photonics manufacturing has dropped significantly, falling to only 10 percent of all photonics components sold world-wide. To meet this challenge, the United States needs to take the lead in developing advanced manufacturing technologies that both enable and leverage photonics technologies. For example, optoelectronic devices that are now assembled by hand in Asia can be manufactured competitively in the U.S. by developing the ability to integrate photonic devices with electronic circuitry. And displays that are now made on large flat glass substrates in Asia could be made in the U.S. using flexible substrates and high-speed roll-to-roll coating processes.

Funded Participants:

  • New York Photonics (Rochester, NY)
  • Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, NY)