Archive for August 2017

After decades of pushing bachelor’s degrees, U.S. needs more tradespeople

August 30, 2017

This comes as no surprise to anyone that makes and builds things.  It has been plain as day in manufacturing and trades for well over two decades.

Now it becomes news.

“California is spending $6 million on a campaign to revive the reputation of vocational education, and $200 million to improve the delivery of it.”

>>Read More Here<<

 

IDEX ANNOUNCES ROCHESTER EXPANSION

August 15, 2017

IDEX Health & Science, LLC and Empire State Development announced that IDEX will expand its optics and photonics operations to Henrietta, Monroe County by establishing an Optical Center of Excellence. The new center will support the company’s life science, semi-conductor, and defense businesses. 

Sources say that IDEX Health & Science had considered moving its operations out of New York State. The company plans to eventually lease close to 100,000 square-feet in a newly constructed facility and will create up to 34 new full-time jobs; 186 jobs will be retained as a result of the state’s investment. The company expects to break ground on the project this fall.

“The Finger Lakes is a growing global hub for the optics, photonics and imaging industries helping to spur economic growth and create jobs across the region,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo. “With this expansion, this successful company will stay in the region, creating jobs for New Yorkers while continuing to push the Finger Lakes forward.”

 As part of the expansion project, IDEX Health & Science will install high-tech machinery and equipment in the new space and install cleanroom space on-site. The company will initially occupy 83,000 square-feet of the new build, with plans for future expansion.

Gus Salem, President, IDEX Health & Science said, “We selected the Rochester area for our new facility due to its strong history in optics technology and its base of people, universities and supporting businesses. We are pleased we can maintain our base of existing employees and business functions in the Finger Lakes Region. We are very thankful for the support of Empire State Development, New York State, and local governments that helped make this project possible.”

Empire State Development will provide up to $2.4 million through the Excelsior Jobs Program in exchange for job creation commitments.

The global photonics company specializes in fluidics and optics serving the life sciences, semiconductor, and defense markets. Product offerings include: connections, valves, pumps, degassers, column hardware, manifolds, microfluidics, consumables, integrated fluidic assemblies, filters, lenses, shutters, laser sources, light engines and integrated optical assemblies.

 For more information about IDEX Health & Science click here.

After failed deals, can SUNY Poly save itself from ‘danger’?

August 10, 2017

The most important thing for Rochester and the Finger Lakes Region is that money meant to be invested at AIM Photonics and at STC MEMS in Canandaigua is not siphoned off to pay for promises made elsewhere or for shady schemes.  We count on the primary lead investor, the DoD, to be certain that this doesn’t happen.  What else can be done?

Four years ago, Alain Kaloyeros made a pledge as he stood with state and local leaders in a former Kodak building in suburban Rochester’s Canal Ponds business park.

More than 100 new jobs were on their way to Canal Ponds as part of a new $100 million solar manufacturing facility, said Kaloyeros, then-head of SUNY’s College of Nanoscale Science & Engineering, which later merged to become SUNY Polytechnic Institute.

The next year, Kaloyeros was back with a new, bolder promise: A $500 million plant for a new power electronics consortium anchored by Sematech and IBM that would bring more than 500 jobs.

And in 2016, another pledge: Two fledgling photonics companies would partner with the state to invest $1.6 billion and create 1,400 jobs in the Rochester area, including the same Canal Ponds facility.

But they were only promises.

Today, the 57,000-sq.-ft. Canal Ponds building sits largely vacant with few, if any, jobs: a symbol of over-promising and under-delivering by Kaloyeros — now awaiting trial on fraud charges — and state leaders that still hope to use SUNY Poly’s massive Albany nanoscience complex as a model for development throughout upstate.

Source: After failed deals, can SUNY Poly save itself from ‘danger’?

New York Photonics Golf, Annual Meeting and Light & Sound Interactive

August 10, 2017

New York Photonics Annual Golf Tournament
New York Photonics Annual Meeting
Light & Sound Interactive

All in one week.  All in September.

The 2017  New York Photonics Annual Meeting
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Annual Meeting and Panel: 3:30PM – 5:30PM
Networking Reception: 5:30PM – 7:00PM 

HYATT REGENCY ROCHESTER
Concurrent / Co-located with Light & Sound Interactive
Registration begins at 3:00PM

Speakers and Panelists

 

 

  • Bryce Tennant, Chief Technology Officer, Precision Optical Transceivers
  • Alexis Vogt, Optics Professor, Monroe Community College
  • Sujatha Ramanujan, Director, Luminate, the Photonics Start-up Competition
  • P. Scott Carney, Optics Professor & Director, UR Institute of Optics
  • Tom Battley, Executive Director, New York Photonics

Panel Discussion:
There has been a lot of great news about the Finger Lakes Optics, Photonics and Imaging Industry in the past year.  Companies are growing and business has seen steady growth.  What is the current state of our OPI ecosystem?

>>Click Here To Learn More or to Register<<

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

Agenda:
3:00 – 3:30    Sign-in
3:30 – 4:00    Introductory remarks, Annual Awards, New Board Introduction
4:00 – 5:30    Panel Discussion and audience interaction
5:30 – 7:00    Networking / refreshments


Learn more about the New York Photonics Annual Golf Tournament
Ravenwood Golf Center
Monday, September 11th.
>>Click here<<



Learn more about Light and Sound Interactive

  • Augented Reality, Virtual Reality, Gaming and the Convergence of Light and Sound
  • Innovators, Thought-leaders, Industry-Modifiers and Disruptors
  • New Modes of Multimedia and Performance
  • Hear, Participate, Observe or Blur the Boundaries

 >>Click Here<<


 

RIT Sensing technology takes a quantum leap with photonics research

August 9, 2017

Rochester Institute of Technology researcher leading a three-year study on precision quantum sensing funded by a $550,000 grant from the U.S. Department of the Navy’s Office of Naval Research, officials announced Wednesday.

Research underway at RIT advances a new kind of sensing technology that captures data with better precision than currently possible and promises cheaper, smaller and lighter sensor designs.Mishkat Bhattacharya, a theoretical physicist at RIT, is investigating new precision quantum sensing solutions for the U.S. Department of the Navy’s Office of Naval Research.

The three-year study is supported by $550,000 grant and is a continuation of a previous award. Bhattacharya will test interactions between light and matter at the nanoscale and analyze measurements of weak electromagnetic fields and gravitational forces.Specialized microscopes measure theoretical predictions that describe matter at the nanoscale in which a nanometer equals one-billionth of a meter and a human hair measures between 80,000-100,000 nanometers, according to the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative.

Levitated optomechanics can make a nanoparticle float in space

It’s no trick of the eye; it’s an optical trap.

Levitated optomechanics can make a nanoparticle float in space. A finely focused laser beam forms an “optical tweezer” and creates a tiny, isolated laboratory for the study of delicate quantum states. RIT scientist Mishkat Bhattacharya tests his theoretical predictions on such experimental platforms used by his collaborator Nick Vamivakas at the University of Rochester’s Institute of Optics. (Image: J. Adam Fenster and Prof. A. N. Vamivakas, University of Rochester)Bhattacharya works in the emerging field of levitated optomechanics, an area of physics that investigates nanoparticles by trapping them in a laser beam.

Laser trapping–a method known as “optical tweezers”–tests the limits of quantum effects in isolation and eliminates physical disturbances from the surrounding environmentUsing the techniques of laser trapping, Bhattacharya takes quantum mechanics to the next level by probing quantum effects in the nanoparticles, which contain billions of atoms. He investigates where quantum mechanics (which governs the microscopic) butts up against classical physics (which explains the macroscopic) and explores light-matter interaction in macroscopic quantum physics.

“Levitated optomechanical systems provide a clean platform for studying quantum optics, information science, and precision measurement and sensing,” said Bhattacharya, an associate professor in RIT’s School of Physics and Astronomy and a member of the Future Photon Initiative.To explore different nanosystems for the Office of Naval Research, Bhattacharya isolates a nanodiamond in a pocket of light. Suspension in laser light turns the particle into a floating probe. Bhattacharya is interested in the signatures carried in the light and the information it reveals about the electromagnetic fields and the gravitational forces surrounding the nanoparticle.He collaborates with postdoctoral associate Pardeep Kumar and RIT undergraduate physics major Wyatt Wetzel. This summer, a visiting undergraduate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Peter Mizes, joined his Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics Theory Group. Bhattacharya tests his theoretical predictions in a lab run by his collaborator Nick Vamivakas, an experimental physicist at the University of Rochester’s Institute of Optics.His first study for the Office of Naval Research determined the smallest force that could be detected with a diamond crystal that levitated without spinning. The new project investigates the outcomes of three nanosystems, each using nanoparticles optically trapped under different conditions:

  • A particle containing an impurity which acts as a spin sensitive to magnetic fields or as an excess charge sensitive to electric fields;
  • A particle moving like a pendulum in three dimensions;
  • A particle larger than the wavelength of light entrapping it.

Quantum mechanics is a door to a world on the nanoscale and is governed by a different set of physical laws.”Unique rules apply in quantum physics,” Bhattacharya said. “It is not the day-to-day physical universe familiar to our experience.”Optomechanics explores interactions between light and tiny particles of matter within the nano-realm. Sensing technology advanced at these submicroscopic scale promises finer measurements of physical properties that describe the world, such as electric and magnetic fields, temperature, force, velocity, acceleration, gravitation.According to Bhattacharya, quantum sensors might someday detect gravitational waves, find dark matter, perfect quantum computing and create precise accelerometers–the technology that rights display screens held at any angle.

Read more: Sensing technology takes a quantum leap with photonics research A

 

“”Quantum sensing” describes the use of a quantum system, quantum properties or quantum phenomena to perform a measurement of a physical quantity. Historical examples of quantum sensors include magnetometers based on superconducting quantum interference devices and atomic vapors, or atomic clocks. More recently, quantum sensing has become a distinct and rapidly growing branch of research within the area of quantum science and technology, with the most common platforms being spin qubits, trapped ions and flux qubits. The field is expected to provide new opportunities – especially with regard to high sensitivity and precision – in applied physics and other areas of science”

Moving at the Speed of Light: an AIM Photonics Milestone

August 8, 2017

University of Arizona selected for high-impact, industrial demonstration of new integrated photonic cryogenic datalink for focal plane arrays

Program is major milestone for AIM Photonics

The American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics), a public-private partnership advancing the nation’s photonics manufacturing capabilities, today announced the winner of a proposal call for a new Defense Department Government Directed Project for photonic integrated circuit (PIC) data links for cryogenic focal plane arrays (FPAs).

The $1,200,000 U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) project, along with an additional $400,000 in matching funds from a team led by the University of Arizona (UA), will support a consortium that includes Sandia National Labs, Raytheon (RTN) and other aerospace firms engaged in FPA technology.

The project will encompass the design, fabrication and test of cryogenic PIC-based datalinks for FPA readout and has the potential to strongly advance imaging capabilities for national defense applications. Capitalizing on the national reach and capabilities of this unique consortium, the PICs at the heart of the project will be manufactured in the AIM Photonics silicon photonics fabrication facility at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Albany, New York, and could also lead to fabrication opportunities at AIM Photonics’ Test, Assembly, and Packaging (TAP) facility, which is being built in in Rochester, New York.

“When you consider the rapid pace of growth in both the FPA size and the required data rates, conventional electronic readouts become limited because they are both a heat source and a communication bottleneck,” says Dr. Robert Norwood, a Professor of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona, and Principal Investigator for the Program.

UA’s extensive experience in cryogenic FPAs and integrated photonics, working in concert with major contractors of the defense industrial base, will target a design and development methodology that provides a common PIC datalink solution across multiple system needs and environments.

“We are proud to partner with the DoD, the University of Arizona, and our industrial members in the development of this critical technology,” said Michael Liehr, Ph.D., CEO of AIM Photonics. “The design and development infrastructure we have developed is state-of-the-art, and a key benefit for the team as they create this next integrated photonics technology.”

Dr. Frank Jaworski, Program Manager, Emerging Technology, Raytheon Vision Systems, added, “Raytheon regards the integration of photonic integrated circuits with focal plane arrays as a critical path for the development of future DoD imaging systems vital to the nation’s security. We look forward to the University of Arizona’s leadership of the consortium and utilizing their expertise in developing this key technology.”

Neil Supola, Chief of the Infrared Focal Plane Array Branch at the Army’s Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate, and Government Program Manager for AIM Photonics, noted that, “This program is a great opportunity for the Department of Defense to leverage advances in integrated photonics manufacturing being realized by the Manufacturing USA program together with its state, industrial, and academic partners. The scope of industrial participation on this project highlights the relevance photonic integration has within the DoD community, and this project’s inherent potential to make a large impact.”

Luminate Now Accepting Applications

August 7, 2017

Luminate: The World’s Largest Start-up Accelerator for Optics, Photonics and Imaging Technologies

  • Sujatha Ramanujan named Managing Director
  • Advisory Board of Industry Leaders Named
  • “Finger Lakes Forward” Investment Advances the Region’s Successful Strategic Plan to Grow the Economy and Create New Opportunities

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the application window is open for Luminate NY, the world’s largest business accelerator for startup firms in the optics, photonics and imaging industries, in Rochester. The Luminate NY initiative, which is being administered by High Tech Rochester, is focused on attracting and growing the most promising optics and photonics companies from across the state, the nation, and around the globe. Funding for the $10 million program is being provided through the Finger Lakes Forward Upstate Revitalization Initiative award.

“New York’s strategic investments have positioned Rochester as a global leader in the photonics industry, and through this innovative program, I look forward to supporting the growth of new businesses across the region,” Governor Cuomo said. “By fostering innovation and supporting the growth of new photonics companies, Luminate NY is leveraging the region’s strong economy to continue to move the Finger Lakes forward.”

Applications are now being accepted through September 15 on a rolling acceptance basis. Teams are encouraged to submit applications as early as possible for the best chance of being chosen for the program. Luminate NY applications are available here.

Luminate NY is looking for entrepreneurs interested in solving challenging optics, photonics and imaging problems, including but not limited to: machine vision, inspection, biophotonics, security, surveillance, augmented and virtual reality, and autonomous vehicles. Teams will be competing for one of ten available slots in the first cohort, guaranteeing them a minimum investment of $100,000 and major investments of up to $1 million.

Luminate NY applicants must be incorporated, have a full-time team and should have proven their core technology, preferably having developed a working prototype. Once admitted, companies will receive assistance with capital and a community of resources. Each member will receive a $100,000 initial convertible note investment, with a chance for follow-on funding at the end of the rigorous six month entrepreneurship training program, expected to total $2 million.

Jim Senall, High Tech Rochester President said, “Since announcing this new program just a short while ago, we are amazed by the amount of interest from the industry. We now have a world-class national advisory board in place, and a new Managing Director hired to run the program. We now really look forward to reviewing program applications and selecting our first cohort of teams.”

Additionally, Dr. Sujatha Ramanujan has been hired to serve as Managing Director for the Luminate NY initiative, following a national search for the position. A serial entrepreneur and seasoned executive with 25 years of experience in Clinical Devices and in Consumer Electronics, Dr. Ramanujan has established, developed and grown three start-up businesses in cardiac surgical equipment, optical communications and nano materials. Dr. Ramanujan also holds 28 issued US patents. As a corporate investor for Kodak, Dr. Ramanujan provides guidance to start-ups, M&A strategies for growing businesses, and vetting of technologies to investors. She has also served on investment advisories in the U.S., Canada and Israel.

The Luminate NY Advisory Board is comprised of a who’s who of optics, photonics and imaging industry leaders.  Nearly every one of these people have been speakers at the New York Photonics Annual Meeting in the past ten years as New York Photonics has spearheaded the promotion of the region’s OPI Industry:

  • Eugene Arthurs – CEO SPIE
  • Milton Chang – Managing Director, Incubic Management
  • Stuart Elby – SVP, Data Center Business Group, Infinera
  • Steve Fantone – Founder & President, Optikos Corporation
  • Mike Foley – Managing Director, Artemis Capital Partners, L.P.
  • Don Golini – Founder, QED Technologies
  • Jay Kumler – President, Jenoptik Optical Systems
  • Michael Liehr – CEO AIM Photonics
  • Duncan Moore – Vice Provost for Entrepreneurship at University of Rochester           
  • Ryne Raffaelle – Vice President for Research and Associate Provost at Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Darius Sankey – General Partner, Sway Ventures
  • Jim Senall – President, High Tech Rochester

Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “The Luminate NY accelerator initiative is already attracting innovative optics, photonics and imaging industry leaders and entrepreneurs. By providing them with the support needed to harness their pioneering ideas, we are helping the Finger Lakes region move forward.”

>>Read More Here<<