Archive for July 2015

An Integrated Photonics Institute for Manufacturing Innovation would not be possible without the National Photonics Initiative

July 23, 2015

There would be no Integrated Photonics Institute for Manufacturing Innovation were it not for the hard work of our societies OSA and SPIE in Washington DC, and their members.  

Kudos to Alan Willner at USC for his leadership, and to Elizabeth Rogan at OSA and Eugene Arthurs at SPIE.  Without their commitment and the work of their superb staffs, the NPI would not have had the impact that it is having.


\WASHINGTON, July 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — The National Photonics Initiative (NPI) congratulates SUNY Polytechnic Institute and other members of the New York consortium on their selection as the country’s first Integrated Photonics Institute for Manufacturing Innovation (IP-IMI). Proposed as part of President Obama’s National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), the IP-IMI was established to bring government, industry and academia together to advance state-of-the-art photonics technology and better positionthe United States relative to global competition in this critical field.

SUNY Polytechnic Institute was joined by University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology and a regional cluster of photonics businesses to submit the proposal that was selected from among three finalists. The Department of Defense (DOD) has committed to investing $110 million in the IP-IMI. The other two finalists were University of Central Florida and University of Southern California.

On behalf of the NPI, Steering Committee Chairman Alan Willner issued the following statement:

“Today is a great day for the US photonics industry, and we congratulate the New York consortium on this win. While other countries have heavily invested in advancing their optics and photonics industries, the United States’ lead in this cutting-edge technology has dwindled. Establishing an IP-IMI in New York is a step in the right direction for our industry and will strengthen our country’s position as the world leader in transitioning photonics research to commercial markets.”

“The NPI and its supporting societies are committed to the long-term success of the IP-IMI. Since the IP-IMI selection process began in June 2014, the NPI has worked to educate the photonics community about this historic opportunity and pledged its support to whichever consortium was ultimately selected by the Department of Defense (DOD). We are prepared to help the IP-IMI, and by association work with the DOD, by leveraging the platforms, programs and resources of our scientific societies. The NPI looks forward to continuing its role as an advocate for the photonics community and continuing to serve as a private sector resource for the DOD as this project now moves from idea to reality.”

Optics and photonics are the science and application of light. Specifically, photonics generates, controls and detects light to advance robotics, manufacturing, medical imaging, next-generation displays, defense technologies, biometric security, image processing, communications, astronomy and much more. Integrated photonics circuits incorporate multiple miniature optical structures to manipulate and control beams of light, in the same way that integrated electronic circuits control electrons, in order to encode, transmit and decode information. A major goal for the IP-IMI will be to develop low-cost, high volume, manufacturing methods to interface electronic integrated circuits with integrated photonic devices.

ABOUT THE NPI: The National Photonics Initiative (NPI) is a collaborative alliance among industry, academia and government to raise awareness of photonics and the impact of photonics on our everyday lives; increase cooperation and coordination among US industry, government and academia to advance photonics-driven fields; and drive US funding and investment in areas of photonics critical to maintaining US economic competitiveness and national security. The initiative is being led by top scientific societies including the American Physical Society (APS), the IEEE Photonics Society, the Laser Institute of America (LIA), The Optical Society (OSA) and SPIE, the International Society for Optics and Photonics. For more information visit



Integrated Photonics Institute will be Headquartered in Rochester, NY

July 22, 2015

In a hotly contested competition that had a team led by New York State vying with a team led by Florida and another led by Southern California, the DoD has chosen the New York team as the winner for the Integrated Photonics Institute In Manufacturing Innovation:  AIM Photonics. Congresswoman Louise Slaughter and Senator Chuck Schumer have announced National Manufacturing Institute in Photonics to be located in New York and headquartered in Rochester.

“All the players involved: Governor Cuomo, SUNY Polytech, our Washington DC delegation, RIT, UR, UCSB, MIT, Columbia and others all played important roles —  and put aside differences to work together.

Congresswoman Slaughter and Senator Schumer helped convene the New York Team, Governor Cuomo had the foresight and determination to offer a huge investment to make the application irresistible.  New York’s technology team worked together to leverage their best talents and recruit other members of the application team from other states. Everyone worked hard.  New Yorkers can be proud of this announcement,” said Tom Battley, Executive Director, New York Photonics.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Katie LaShomb (202) 680-0813

Slaughter Issues Statement on Photonics Manufacturing Institute

ROCHESTER, NY – Today, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter released the following statement regarding her efforts to bring a federal manufacturing institute to Rochester:

For more than three years, I’ve been leading our region’s effort to convince the Obama Administration to create a photonics manufacturing institute and build it in Rochester. With remarkable research universities, robust manufacturing capability, and the most talented workforce in the country, the Rochester region is truly the nation’s leader when it comes to photonics. Three years of tireless work is nearing the finish line but I won’t be celebrating until an official announcement is made by the Department of Defense. I’ve been proud to work with many partners on this exciting opportunity and am especially grateful for the support of the University of Rochester, RIT, Majority Leader Joe Morelle, and Governor Andrew Cuomo. I look forward to sharing more details with the community in the days ahead.

For background on Congresswoman Slaughter’s work on this institute, click here.

Rochester Continues Celebrating the International Year of Light

July 21, 2015

In the International Year of Light it has become obvious…

Rochester needs an annual event to celebrate light.

The hub for Rochester’s celebration of light is naturally the Rochester Museum & Science Center.  The RMSC is the obvious choice for the Rochester International Center of Light, Multimedia and Astronomy.

Laser, holographic, multimedia light shows and live gaming, together with music and dance performance will draw international audiences to our city.  The New York Photonics board has resolved to support this idea with the Finger Lakes Regional Council through an RMSC funding application.

In 2014 NYPhotonics began working on (or instigating) a number of projects for the International Year of Light in Rochester.  A broad view looks like this:IYOLRMSC

  • Rochester Museum & Science Center IYOL2015 Advisory Committee
  • OPI Company Tours in May 2015
  • Illuminations, a permanent exhibition of interactive OPI science demonstrations previewing now in the Patricia Hale Gallery at RMSC
  • Cubes: A Visual Exploration of Possibility at the Rochester Contemporary
  • A Street Light Festival (July 17 & 18)
  • …of Light” a commissioned piece of music for Jazz Ensemble by Dave Rivello, Assistant Professor of Jazz and Contemporary Media, Eastman School of Music.  This piece will debut during two performances in Kilbourn Hall during the First Niagara Fringe Festival on Friday, September 18th.

We have a unique opportunity to showcase New York Photonics during the International Year of Light, and your sponsorship of  the Illuminations exhibit at the RMSC and the music debut during Fringe Festival are needed! Here is more detail on what the sponsorship opportunities look like:

1) Illuminations

First, a caveat:  The Rochester Museum and Science Center does not need our money to fund this exhibition. The exhibits were conceived and built by RMSC staff and the RMSC Technical Assistance Group (TAG) as part of the RMSC’s celebration of the International Year of Light. Previewing now in the Patricia Hale gallery at the RMSC, the Illuminations exhibition will become a permanent installation within RMSC later this year in a renovated space on the 2nd floor of the Museum.

In February, honoring the International Year of Light, the RRPC board of directors passed a resolution to adopt the RMSC Strasenburgh Planetarium as an international center for astronomy, multimedia and interdisciplinary arts and sciences.

We can think of no better gesture to begin this new focus on the RMSC than sponsoring the Illuminations exhibit.  With more than 375,000 visitors per year to the RMSC, sponsorship offers great exposure for NYPhotonics and its membership companies:

  • Each exhibit is an entertaining and educational experiment in physics and light
  • Your company name, logo and profile will accompany each exhibit, and where possible, associate your business with the specific photonic experiment.
  • This PERMANENT exhibition will be sponsored by NYPhotonics and its members, with specific companies sponsoring each individual exhibit

Youtube Video Here Take a close  look at the exhibitions here

2) “…. And Light” A World Premiere Celebrating the International Year of Light presented at the First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival

We are seeking 3 contributions of $5,000 each to support this world premier.  The music has already been commissioned. What will you get for your contribution?

  • Verbal and printed recognition at the performances
  • Credited sponsorship for specific composition movements (it is in six parts)
  • VIP seating for the performances (your choice early and/or late)
  • Meet and Greet with artists, composer and musicians the night of the performance
  • A signed and framed copy of the frontispiece of sheet music from the composition, thanking you for your support of the International Year of Light
  • Exclusive CD of the performance from Eastman School of Music
  • CDs of recent ESM Jazz Department releases
  • Acknowledgement in a joint press release issued by the Eastman School of Music and NYPhotonics, the promotional name for RRPC across the globe.

Read more detail about the music, the composer and the event, here.

Call Tom Battley to secure your sponsorship or answer any questions.  585.329.4029

The story of the invention that could revolutionize batteries—and maybe American manufacturing as well

July 14, 2015

If we are going to harness the power of the sun, the real challenge ahead is in the cost of storage. How do we store the power and use it as electricity?

Pluto Images? Optimax Optics On-Board

July 10, 2015

Optimax Optics On-Board the Pluto New Horizons Satellite

The first mission to the dwarf planet Pluto and outer edge of our solar system to arrive on July 14th after a nine-year journey

The Pluto New Horizons mission is expected to provide the first close-up photos and measurements of the dwarf planet at 7:50 a.m. ET on July 14th with Optimax lenses on-board to provide some of the first high-resolution images of the mysterious planet.

“Our objective is to leverage our optics manufacturing expertise for programs that benefit mankind and have fun doing it,” said Rick Plympton, CEO, Optimax Systems, Inc. “New Horizons is just one more example of our lenses enabling humankind to view some of the most amazing things in the universe for the first time.”

NASA’s New Horizons mission was launched in 2006 and has already traveled 3.5 billion miles, swinging past Jupiter and will conduct a five-month-long flyby study of Pluto and its moons before venturing deeper into the Kuiper Belt at the edges of our solar system. The images and data provided by New Horizons will help us find out what the atmosphere and surface of Pluto looks like.

Optimax optics are on-board the LORRI (Long Range Reconnaissance Imager) telescopic camera which will obtain data at long distances and map Pluto’s far side and provide high resolution geologic data.

Optimax is a high-precision optics manufacturer located in Ontario, NY that builds the optics behind the latest breakthrough technologies in aerospace, medical, and consumer electronics. For small volume, highly quality optics, Optimax is set up to manufacture, test and deliver with speed and performance.

For more information on New Horizons: NASA New Horizons Fact Sheet


Image #1 – Artist’s concept of the New Horizons spacecraft as it approaches Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, in July 2015. (courtesy of


Image #2 – New Horizons rendition of spacecraft and instruments (Credits: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute)

Feature Film Shot on iPhone5 using Moondog Labs Anamorphic Adapters

July 9, 2015

Director Sean Baker’s latest film, Tangerine, features two transgender prostitutes in Los Angeles on a hunt to find a cheating boyfriend. If that premise isn’t interesting enough to attract your interest, then consider how it was filmed: the movie had a budget of $100,000 and was filmed entirely using the iPhone 5 and New York Photonics member Moondog Labs’ $160-$175 mobile anamorphic adapter prototypes. An anamorphic adapter allows a filmmaker to convert a camera into shooting traditional 2.40:1 widescreen cinematic content.


Read more:

NPR reviews the movie here…