Archive for the ‘Photovoltaics’ category

LUMINATE Accelerator: Final Fast Pitch Lightning Round

November 13, 2017

Luminate, the largest Optics, Photonics and Imaging (OPI) start-up accelerator program in the nation hosted its first ever competition in Rochester this week, nearly twenty years after New York Photonics began its statewide advocacy mission for the industry.  It was a really good event, and this is only year one.

OPI was recognized in 2014 by the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council as one of the region’s key strategic industries.  It became an important component of the Council’s Finger Lakes Forward plan that was funded through New York State’s Upstate Revitalization Initiative two years ago.  As part of that plan Luminate was created.

The region has  been recognized as an innovation hub in optics for about 150 years, starting with Bausch & Lomb.  During the late twentieth century decline in employment at Eastman Kodak, Bausch & Lomb and Xerox, a network of small, innovative OPI firms emerged that today employ more than 5,000 people.  When combined with firms employing more than 500 people, that job number is greater than 17,000, supporting one in 14 families in the region.  Of the roughly 120 OPI companies in the Finger Lakes Region, nearly all have been experiencing growth, some in double digits during the past three years.

Last year Rochester hosted the Centenary Celebration of the OSA, an organization founded in Rochester, and two weeks ago hosted the biennial SPIE Optifab, the largest optical fabrication conference in the nation.  In October, Optifab hosted more than 2,000 attendees at a sold-out Riverside Convention Center.

“Under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, Rochester is at the vanguard of photonics and imaging once again, building on a rich optics legacy,” said Lieutenant Governor Hochul, who attended the competition. “The Luminate NY competition is evidence of the economic growth taking place. The region is quickly becoming a world hub in this arena due to a rich supply of workforce talent and potential, moving the “Finger Lakes Forward” with great momentum.”

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul addresses a packed house of optics, photonics and imaging companies and fans.

The competition received interest from more than 100 applicants from around the world during this first round, including teams from Canada, Switzerland, Ireland, Germany, Scotland, India, China, Russia, Qatar, Lebanon, Israel and the United States.

The 10 selected finalists (three from Rochester) include:

In the fields of Photonic Devices, Lasers, Materials and Display:
Arovia, Inc. – Houston, TX
Lumotune – Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Molecular Glasses, Inc. – Rochester, NY

In the fields of Spectroscopy and Medical Devices:
LighTopTech Corp. – Rochester, NY
Intelon Optics, Inc. – Boston, MA

In Augmented and Virtual Reality, Sensors, Instrumentation, Image Recognition:
Bounce Imaging – Boston, MA
Double Helix LLC – Boulder Colorado
Think Biosolution – Dublin, Ireland
Positive Science – Rochester, NY
Tarsier Optics, Inc. – Baltimore, MD

>The contestants for the elimination round can all be found here<<

Dr. David Kleinman gives the Lightning Round pitch for Accuret LLC.  Accuret did not make it to the final round.

Each company will receive an initial investment of $100,000 and will be a part of the initiative’s first cohort, which will launch in January 2018 at the newly renovated Sibley Building in downtown Rochester. The 6-month program will assist these teams with their ideas to accelerate their commercialization. At the end of the program, the teams will compete on Demo Day, where they will vie for over $2 million in follow-on funding. Funding for the $10 million program is being provided through the Finger Lakes Forward Upstate Revitalization Initiative award, and is being administered by High Tech Rochester.

The Luminate NY initiative will support the selected innovators as they grow their ideas in Rochester with help from industry experts, businesses and local universities. The program aims to assist entrepreneurs who are interested in solving challenging industry problems, including, but not limited to: machine vision, inspection, biophotonics, security, surveillance, augmented and virtual reality, and autonomous vehicles.

Luminate NY Managing Director Sujatha Ramanujan said, “We are so pleased to be able to work with 10 such promising companies. With the creativity, energy, and capabilities of these start-ups and the guidance and support of the optics industry headquartered in Rochester, NY, we expect great success from the Luminate NY cohort. From innovation comes growth and promise.”

 

Solar Startup to Build Big Factory in Upstate New York

October 7, 2015

It’s photonics. Get it?

Following SolarCity’s plan to build a factory in Buffalo, New York, another solar company has been attracted to the area with incentives.

Upstate New York is quickly becoming a new hub for solar manufacturing.

On Wednesday afternoon solar startup 1366 Technologies, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, announced that 1366 will build a factory in Genesee County, which is located between Buffalo and Rochester, in upstate New York. The 100,000 square-foot factory could provide 1,000 jobs to the region.

The factory, which is supposed to break ground in the second quarter of 2016, will eventually churn out 600 million silicon solar wafers per year. A silicon wafer is the raw ingredient of a traditional solar cell, and a few dozen solar cells make up one solar panel.

>>Read More Here<<

Company Website:  http://1366tech.com/

>>Fast Company Most Innovative Energy Companies<<

Rochester’s International Year of Light in Motion

February 24, 2015

Did you know that the stunning lights of aurora borealis are the result of solar wind? Or that every CD and DVD player contains a tiny laser? Or that some people can trick their brains to see “impossible” colors?

Fascinating, right? It’s this fascination with light and an unquenchable interest in researching new concepts that has made the Rochester region a light, imaging and optical technologies worldwide hub.

The United Nations has proclaimed 2015 as the International Year of Light.

Organizations, businesses and museums around the world are planning celebrations to highlight to the citizens of the world the importance of light and optical technologies.

The Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC), Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster and other commercial and academic partners have come together to engage the community in a variety of light-based experiences. Partners include the Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Rochester, Monroe Community College, OSA-RS (Optical Society — Rochester Section), ASE Optics, Corning Tropel, IDEX Corporation, Optimax and Second Avenue Learning.

Optics and related technologies offer major benefits to our region, including interesting and well-paying careers in science, engineering and manufacturing. Globally, light-based technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to challenges in energy, education, agriculture and health. From the Mars Rover, to Internet communication and revolutionized medicine, optics changes the way we live. We want to raise awareness about how light-based technologies directly respond to the needs of humankind.

Using the International Year of Light as a platform, many local organizations plan to generate interest in optics through hands-on applications. The RMSC plans to host special public light-based programs including “Science of Light Weekends” throughout the first half of 2015 and “Light-a-Palooza” during spring break. A full list of community events is available at RoctheYOL.com.

With zest for light technologies, we’re supporting our own future. Rochester is home to more than 50 optics- and imaging-focused businesses. These local opportunities keep Rochester on the map and our community members here.

Bennett is president of Rochester Museum & Science Center. Cook is general manager, ASE Optics, and president of OSA Rochester Section.

http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/opinion/guest-column/2015/01/24/year-light-motion-rochester/22222191/

#ROCtheIYOL #IYOL15 #IYOL2015

20 Illuminating Facts About Light

January 19, 2015

In celebration of the International Year of Light, Perimeter Institute presents 20 fascinating factoids about photons:

http://perimeterinstitute.ca/news/20-illuminating-enlightening-day-brightening-facts-about-light?cm_mid=4290135&cm_crmid=d0a17731-1812-e211-858f-005056800012

 

Consortiums Compete for Establishment of Integrated Photonics Institute for Manufacturing Innovation

November 21, 2014

Funding Opportunity Announced

Through a Funding Opportunity Announcement  (FOA) made on Nov. 6, the U.S. Department of Defense is calling for concept papers for the establishment of an Integrated Photonics Institute for Manufacturing Innovation (IP-IMI).

The IP-IMI will be the largest federal investment to date under the Obama administration’s National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) at $110M. The IP-NMI does not include optics, optical systems or optical manufacturing. It does not include lasers at the manufacturing scale, optical materials or new systems for manufacturing critical DoD optical components. It is narrowly focused upon “domestic integrated photonics chip fabrication foundry access, integrated design tools, automated packaging, assembly and test, and workforce development.”

The FOA was made through the Air Force Research Laboratory, following President Barack Obama’s announcement of his administration’s intent to form the IP-IMI, the sixth such institute under the NNMI. The FOA reaffirms that commitment, with DoD investing $110 million, intended to be somehow matched or exceeded in investment  from industry, academia and/or state and local government through the winning proposal.

Read the White House fact sheet here.

A proposer’s day has been scheduled for Nov. 19  in Arlington, Va.

Proposers day, Artisphere Spectrum Theater, Arlington, VA

Proposers day, Artisphere Spectrum Theater, Arlington, Va.

New York Proposals

A National Institute for Manufacturing and Innovation in Photonics has been one of the main goals of the National Photonics Initiative (NPI).  Numerous lobbying efforts and a national fly-in have supported the NPI.   Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY 25) has been an enthusiastic advocate for a photonics institute led and located in Rochester, N.Y.

In Rochester, an NMI effort led by the University of Rochester has been under way for two years. The university has been working with key stakeholders across the U.S. to form a consortium to partner on an application. It is rumored that The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at SUNY Albany (CNSE) is also working on an application.  Sources at the University of Rochester say that they have been engaged in brokered discussions with CNSE.

Other New York research interests might include names like Cornell University, RIT, Columbia University, Clarkson, University at Buffalo and others.  Industrial partners may include such names as Corning, GE, IBM, Global Foundries and Sematech.

Applications are due on Dec. 19.

Read the DoD Announcement here.

Recent New York Efforts

The last NMI award announcement was for an institute for power electronics.

CNSE led a consortium that applied for the Power Electronics NMI in late 2013. That Institute was awarded to a consortium based in North Carolina.  Undeterred, Gov. Andrew Cuomo later announced a New York State Power Electronics Institute under the CNSE umbrella, promising to create 500 jobs. The announcement was made in the same building where CNSE announced its Department of Energy Photovoltaics Consortium on July 17, 2013,  promising to create 100 jobs.

The competition for leadership in Optics, Photonics and Imaging seems to be paying off for New York State.

New York Photonics Annual Meeting

September 2, 2014

Thursday, September 4, 2014
3:30PM – 6:30PM
Rochester Museum & Science Center
Registration begins at 3:00PM

The registration landing page is here

 

Louise

Opening remarks by
Congresswoman Louise Slaughter
Representative New York’s 25th District 

Speakers and Panelists

  • Kevin Füchsel, Head of Department Strategy – Marketing – Coordination, Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering
  • Steve Anderson, Industry and Market Strategist for SPIE; former Editor-In-Chief, Laser Focus World
  • Susan Christopherson, Professor and Department Chair, Cornell University Department of City and Regional Planning
  • Paul Ballentine, Executive Director, Center for Emerging and Innovative Sciences University of Rochester

Panel moderator: Ryne Rafaelle, PhD, Vice President for Research & Associate Provost, Rochester Institute of Technology

America’s Optics, Photonics, Imaging Innovation Culture:
Is a National Institute in New York’s Future?
The National Academies report, Optics & Photonics: Essential Technologies for Our Nation; the National Photonics Initiative.  The Obama administration and the Department of Defense are looking to establish national manufacturing institutes for technologies that are key to America’s future. Successful global Optics and Photonics manufacturing institutes such as Fraunhofer in Germany have existed for years. Can New York help America catch up?

Panel Discussion: Innovation and Commercialization Institutes.  Do they work?  Is a U.S. institute in Optics and Photonics important to national security?  Is it important to New York?

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

Agenda:
3:00 – 3:30    Sign-in
3:30 – 4:00    Introductory remarks
4:00 – 5:30    Panel Discussion and audience interaction
5:30 – 6:30    Networking / refreshments

Corning Expansion in Canton, NY

July 29, 2014

Corning will expand production at its Canton plant in a $21 million project that will create 40 permanent jobs with the help of a low-cost power allocation, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is expected to announce today.

The plant on McAdoo Road in the town of DeKalb will increase production of high-fused silica glass used in the semiconductor industry. The plant supplies microchips for computers, cellphones and other electronics. It also makes specialized glass products for the U.S. Department of Defense and the aerospace industry.

The 30,700-square-foot expansion will include 23,500 square feet for increased production and a 7,200-square-foot warehouse. Corning is expected to host a formal ceremony next month for the start of construction.

fused silicaThe New York Power Authority is allocating 2.1 megawatts to the plant for the expansion.

“The St. Lawrence-FDR power plant is crucial for economic development in Northern New York,” Gil C. Quiniones, president and chief executive officer of NYPA, said in a news release Monday. “It’s a top priority for NYPA to utilize its low-cost hydropower in ways that will yield the greatest results and Corning’s commitment toward the creation of 40 high-paying jobs in the region is exactly that, a great result.”

http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/article/20140729/NEWS05/140728811