Archive for November 2016

ITAR Reforms Will Be Signed Into Law at Year End

November 29, 2016

From Laser Focus World:

Chuck Schumer

New York Senator Chuck Schumer was active on Munitions Rule Category XII reforms, including lasers, optics and photonics exports.

It’s complicated, has been supported by many in photonics (notably SPIE and OSA), has major implications for U.S. makers of products such as high-power fiber lasers and focal plane arrays, and becomes law on December 31, 2016. Here are some thoughts and resources for piecing together how the rules have change in Category XII (Fire Control, Laser, Imaging, and Guidance Equipment) of the U.S. Munitions List (USML) of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).

Kevin Wolf, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration, has been overseeing the reform process and spoke to a large audience at the OSA Laser Congress in Boston last week. He said the new regulations were the result of 2 years of public comment, resolve 20 years of policy dispute, and are now in the refinement stage.

He added, “The process for reviewing [international sales of] commercial items is now far easier and it opens potentially new markets for U.S. products.” He also said the new regulations eliminate significant uncertainty that standard commercial photonics products could be “sucked into ITAR.” Many less-sensitive military items and commercial spacecraft items may now be regulated under Export Administration Regulations for control of commercial products.

>>Read More Here<<

Photonics MEMS Are Already Made In Rochester!

November 24, 2016

Just down the road, twenty minutes from Rochester.

Off Route 332 half way between the New York State Thruway and Canandaigua.

A Department of Defense Trusted Foundry Specializing in Packaging Photonics Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) on a chip.

What makes this interesting?  Well, for one thing: packaging, and we aren’t talking about wrapping a birthday present or your shipping an receiving department, we are talking about the delicate and miraculous task of putting a silicon semiconductor chip into a metal, glass or ceramic package with the electronic and/or photonics connections that will make it a functional, usable device in something like your computer, your mobile devices, your GPS or your car.

The talent set for packaging MEMS devices will be very similar to packaging integrated photonics devices.

We’re talking about the Smart Systems Technology Center, what once was Infotonics, which emerged as a stand-alone, self-supporting MEMS fabrication and packaging facility after its initial supporters, Kodak, Corning and Xerox all abandoned ship.  What was once a center staring into the abyss was restructured, reorganized and firmly established under the guidance of a reconstituted board of directors.

Who accomplished this amazing collaborative feat?  The chairman of the board at the time was John Hart, CEO of Lumetrics, in Rochester.  Hart, the token “small company representative from the Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster” took the helm in 2008, hiring interim CEO John Bellardini (J.C. Jones, currently CFO Chobani) and guiding the center’s recovery from financial mismanagement and plain old shortsightedness to hiring a new (and current) director, Paul Tolley and becoming a profitable enterprise.

During the next two years the center navigated the perilous straights of reorganization — while finding and servicing new customers, and re-establishing the trust of State and Federal Government officials, most notably perhaps, Senator Chuck Schumer, who had every reason to feel betrayed by the way the Infotonics Center, as it was initially called, had failed to live up to its promise – and his support.

When The Infotonics Center merged with SUNY POLYTECH in 2011 it was a self-sufficient, profitable MEMS production center that soon earned Department of Defense “Trusted Foundry” status with the support once again of US Senator Chuck Schumer.

What does the future hold for this jewel in Canandaigua, just outside of Rochester, and a crucial component of the region’s OPI ecosystem?  Once can only hope that they continue working with commercial customers and continue innovating for years to come.

It would be a travesty if this center were to be accidentally tarnished by the events surrounding SUNY Polytech’s 2016 bid-rigging scandal.

WorldLeaders Annual CEO Conference – December 6, 7:30am – noon

November 17, 2016

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2016 Annual Meeting Follow-up

November 7, 2016

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Thank you, friends in photonics, for supporting the New York Photonics Annual Meeting and our economic development agenda.

A special thank-you to our sponsors, without whom we would not be in a position to advocate for the region’s optics, photonics & imaging industry.

We hope that you enjoyed hearing from Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, senator Chuck Schumer and congresswoman Louise Slaughter, and we hope that you recognize what tremendous advocates we have for our industry in Washington.

To reiterate this year’s priorities from the meeting:

  • Our region has a legacy in optics, photonics and imaging like no place else in America, and we have won numerous opportunities for leveraging our strategic advantages for the future.  At this stage, it is up to the community stakeholders – the region’s economic development partners and the industry – to make that happen.  The New York Photonics ecosystem is robust and prime for further development.
  • We are advocates – and we hope that we can count on your support – for the Rochester Museum & Science Center’s capital campaign, Gateway Project, and Strasenburgh Planetarium upgrades.  We see the RMSC as the point where all vectors intersect: education, tourism, economic development, and the arts.  We envision the RMSC campus as an international center for light, astronomy, multimedia and education, and we feel that this proect deserves the support of the Finger Lakes Regional Council and the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, Finger Lakes Forward.
  • Also as part of Finger Lakes Forward, we continue to advocate for the Finger Lakes Regional Center for Optics Manufacturing, a national center for manufacturing innovation and problem solving for America’s optics, photonics & imaging industry and national security.  We cannot imagine another effort that will more effectively leverage our strategic advantages in optics, photonics and imaging.  You will be hearing more about this center in the future.

The Demo

People seemed to enjoy the demonstration of state-of-the-art planetarium projection technology!  Some clarification is needed, however.

The system that we experienced on the 27th was a demonstration of what is possible.  What we saw was a 4K projection system, meaning that we experienced 4,000 pixels from horizon to horizon through the zenith of the dome.  This is the entry level for what we would like to see in the Strasenburgh Planetarium, including filling the central pit, expanded seating, and a new projection surface for the dome.

We see it as the beginning of new possibilities for Rochester’s planetarium in addition to the brilliant astronomy that will already enjoy, only in HD – including multimedia events and new kinds of full-dome programming – all of course, accelerated by integrated photonics!

Handouts, or are they E-outs?

For more about planetarium full dome possibilities, click here.

For those of you who requested the presentations from the Planetarium portion of the meeting, you can find them here.  For the animations to work from my presentation you will need to download it.  We are unable to share Ed White’s AIM Photonics presentation for security reasons.

Photographs from the event can be found here.  You may find yourself somewhere in these shots!

News about the awards is here.

Thank you again for joining us on the 27th and thank you for your continued support!

 

New York Photonics Announces New Board of Directors at Annual Meeting

November 1, 2016

Thursday, October 27, 2016

New York Photonics, the industry cluster representing New York State’s Photonics Industry, announced its newly elected board of directors at their annual meeting in the Rochester Museum & Science Center Strasenburgh Planetarium.

The 2017 Board of Directors is:

John Hart (President) Lumetrics, Inc.
Rick
Plympton (Treasurer) Optimax Systems, Inc.
John
Herbrand (Secretary) Legal Counsel
Paul Ballentine, University of Rochester CEIS
Michael
Bechtold, Optipro
Brian Carroll, The Superior Group
Wade Cook, Quality Vision International
Julian
Goldstein, Navitar
Dane Hileman, Rochester Precision Optics
Michael
Richardson, Rochester Institute of Technology
Neal
Slifkin, Harris Beach
Chuck
Synborski, XACTIV
Paul
Tolley, SUNY Polytech STC MEMS
Thomas
Battley, Executive Director