Posted tagged ‘NYPhotonics’

Small Business Week Events in the Monroe County Region

April 24, 2017

Sydor’s Zach Hobbs

Monroe County is celebrating National Small Business Week May 1st – May 5th with a week of local events aimed at recognizing small businesses while providing educational and development opportunities to businesses, employees and elected leaders.  

Among the week’s speakers will be Zach Hobbs from Sydor Optics.

Hobbs will discuss two projects undertaken at Sydor Optics with the Pollution Prevention Institute (P2I) that resulted in increased reclamation of used Cerium Oxide.  Cerium Oxide is a rare earth used by precision optics manufacturers as a polishing compound. The reclaimed ceria is collected, recycled and reformulated by Flint Creek Resources (Ontario County) for use back at Sydor Optics. 

In the first project, P2I collected data and performed testing to recommend a solution to increase our collection of used and spent ceria.  The second project included the final design and implementation of a system that will enable Sydor to increase their collection efforts by up to 2X and allow the company to be more sustainable with a resource that is primarily imported from China.

Part of the week’s agenda:

RIT Sustainability Roundtable – NYS Pollution Prevention Institute

May 1st, 8:00 am – 10:00 am
Location: RIT – Louise Slaughter Building, 111 Lomb Memorial Drive, Building 78, Room 2220
Description: This informational panel discussion will educate area businesses on the benefits that sustainability can have for their bottom line and will provide government officials with information on sustainability initiatives practiced by local businesses.

Featuring: Zachary Hobbs – Sydor Optics, Daniel O’Connell – American Fuel Cell, John Erbland – Paradigm of NY, John Urlaub – Rohrbach Brewing Co., and John McCurdy/Bill Popham – Locust Hill Country Club

Registration: http://bit.ly/p2ismallbusiness


MCC Corporate College: Training and Development Open House

May 4th, 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
Location: MCC Economics & Workforce Development Center, 1057 E. Henrietta Rd., Suite 300, Rochester, NY 14623
Description: Presented by MCC Corporate College. Three sample training sessions will be offered to local businesses and employees to explain how MCC Corporate College can support small businesses in our community. The three sample training sessions being offered are: Managing Different Personality Styles, Microsoft Excel Tips and Tricks, and Learn to Fly – sUAS (drones).

Registration: http://www.mccediws.com/smallbiz/

A Community Together for Education: “How Your Business Can Partner with Local Schools”

May 4th, 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Location: Village Gate Atrium, 274 N. Goodman Street, Rochester, NY 14607
Description: A Community Together for Education delivers positive messaging about our local school districts, encourages community support of public education, and promotes positive partnerships within the community. Come learn how to promote your business’ brand in the community, network with leaders of local school districts, and see student displays in the fields of robotics and technology.

Registration:https://www.eventbrite.com/e/how-your-business-can-partner-with-local-schools-tickets-33709563211

For more information on all of Monroe County’s Small Business Week events please visit www.monroecounty.gov/nsbw2017.

 

 

SCHUMER, GILLIBRAND, SLAUGHTER ANNOUNCE MONROE COMMUNITY COLLEGE SECURES $550,000 TO MAKE COLLEGE A TOP PHOTONICS TRAINING CENTER

April 21, 2017

New York Photonics has been working on getting this designation for over 10 years.  It wasn’t until Professor Alexis Vogt, PhD came to MCC that it began to move forward.  Thank you, Alexis!

SCHOOL AIMS TO MEET GROWING DEMAND FOR SKILLED WORKERS IN UPSTATE NEW YORK

Monroe Community College (MCC), The Only Community College In The Nation Offering An Optics and Photonics Associates Degree, Needed Federal Funds To Expand Facilities, Meet Regional Need For Trained Workers

Over $500K from National Science Foundation (NSF) Is First Step Towards Making MCC the Northeast Regional Center for Optics and Photonics; Schumer, Gillibrand, Slaughter Urged Feds To Approve Funds That Would Support New Equipment, Curriculum & Recruitment

Schumer, Gillibrand, Slaughter: Critical Fed Funds Will Help Build on MCC’s Proven Success in Optics and Photonics

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY25) today announced the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Advanced Technology Foundation’s Education program has awarded $550,434 for Monroe Community College (MCC). The funding will allow MCC to expand its optics and photonics degree programs, purchase new equipment, as well as develop a new curriculum and expand student outreach.  Optics and photonics involves the science and application of light and are key to many industries including manufacturing, telecommunications and medicine.

“MCC is a proven leader in optics and photonics training, and we have an opportunity here to build on that success by creating a top-notch training center that will prepare Upstate New Yorkers for good-paying, middle-class jobs in this burgeoning field,” said Senator Schumer. “This five hundred thousand will enable MCC to expand its optics and photonics degree programs, update its equipment, and put it on track to become the Northeast Regional Center for Optics & Photonics. This grant is the first step in creating a regional center that will ensure all of New York and the entire Northeast has the workforce it needs to attract, build and sustain a strong photonics industry.”

“This federal funding is great news for Monroe Community College and for the entire Rochester community,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “The Rochester area is already at the center of the American optics and photonics industries, and these funds will help secure MCC’s position as a leading training center for students who want good-paying jobs in these fields. I will continue to do everything I can to make sure our students are prepared to take on the good-paying jobs of the future.”

“We have fought hard these last few months to ensure the National Science Foundation understood the important impact this federal award could have in helping train the next generation advanced manufacturing workforce.” Said Congresswoman Louise Slaughter.  “It was truly a team effort that would not have been possible without the work of Alexis Vogt and the extraordinary leadership of President Kress. I’m proud to have stood with Monroe Community College in support of their proposal every step of the way. This federal award will help Monroe County continue to lead the world in optics and photonics,” said Slaughter.

MCC is currently the only community college in the U.S. with an optics and photonics associate’s degree program, and is looking to become a major training center for this burgeoning field. Schumer, Gillibrand said that MCC hopes to ultimately become the “Northeast Regional Center for Optics & Photonics,” and this federal funding will help start make that expansion possible.

L to R: student Mark Smith; Professor Bill Strong; Professor Alexis Vogt, PhD; MCC President Anne Kress; Congresswoman Louise Slaughter

Additionally this NSF grant is the first step in MCC reaching that goal of becoming a center for photonics training and, eventually, middle-class job growth in this growing industry. Schumer explained that there are currently over 120 optics, photonics and imaging companies that employ over 24,000 people across the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and Central New York regions.  Schumer, Gillibrand said this federal funding would help provide training for over 800 area high school and college students through the proposed OPT IN! program. Schumer said that OPT IN! would put Rochester area students in the best possible position to pursue higher education and compete in the job market. Not only would it allow high school students to earn college credits, Schumer argued that OPT IN! would make it easier for non-traditional students, such as veterans, to transfer from MCC to four-year universities and to complete critical student internships. The grant would also allow MCC to develop new and revised curriculum, and expand online education. Finally, Schumer explained that OPT IN! would broaden industry and community partnerships aimed at recruitment and education about optics and photonics as a career option.

Dr. Alexis Vogt, Endowed Chair & Associate Professor of Optics at Monroe Community College said, “We are very appreciative of the Senators’ support to help us win this grant.  We are now on our way to making Monroe Community College the home of the Northeast Regional Center for Photonics & Optics.  This grant to allow MCC to strengthen our region’s optics and photonics workforce and provide students here with employment opportunities in regional high skill, high demand positions.  Ultimately this funding gives us the foundation to begin creating a regional center that will ensure all of New York and the entire Northeast has the workforce it needs to attract, build and sustain a strong photonics industry.”

The photonics and optics industry is central to the New York State economy and the Rochester area in particular. According to the Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster (RRPC), these companies generate $3 billion in revenue per year, and support 1-in-14 households in Monroe County. In addition to the one-of-a-kind program at MCC, Rochester is home to the University of Rochester’s Institute of Optics, and the Laboratory for Laser Energetics at Rochester Institute of Technology. Statewide, New York universities educate 60 percent of the nation’s optics Ph.Ds.

Schumer, Gillibrand has long championed optics and photonics in the Rochester area. Earlier this year, Schumer, Gillibrand announced that the NSF awarded a $2 million dollar grant to the University of Rochester’s photonics research program. These funds created new opportunities for AIM Photonics Center outreach in the Rochester community. The University of Rochester was able to create K-12 education materials to teach students about photonics and optics.

 A copy of Senator Schumer’s October 2016 letter to the National Science Foundation Director appears below:

Dear Director Cordova,

I am pleased to write in strong support of Monroe Community College (MCC) grant application to the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program to enable MCC to expand its optics and photonics education and training program so that MCC can train more students to fill available high skill, high demand positions at local and regional employers.  Currently MCC is the only college in the nation that offers an associate degree program in optics, and yet, in the Rochester region there are now more job openings for these positions than there are graduated students ready to fill these openings.  Thus, MCC’s proposal, named the Optics & Photonics Technology INnovation-OPT IN!, will expand MCC’s work by first expanding and enriching its curriculum to train students for today’s cutting-edge photonics fields, and secondly by linking with secondary schools, universities, and employers to create a seamless pipeline for more students to seek a career in photonics.   

Currently more than 120 optics, photonics, and imaging companies employ over 24,000 people across the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and Central New York regions. With an anticipated 3.3% annual employment growth and a workforce that is approaching retirement, the need for skilled optics technicians is outpacing the number of graduates who are prepared to fill positions.  Beyond the specific workforce needs of these existing companies, demand for skilled photonics worker will grow further with the establishment in 2015 of the Rochester, NY headquartered federal American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics).   

To grow the optics and photonics workforce, the proposed OPT IN! program will impact 850 high school and college students including underrepresented, non-traditional students like our growing veteran student population to help them advance their careers.  MCC would expand dual enrollment opportunities for high school students, 2+2 and transfer linkages to four-year universities, student internships, and faculty professional development.  Furthermore the program would develop new and revised curriculum, including online curriculum, at MCC’s Optical Systems Technology program to meet current industry standards.  And by broadening industry and community partnerships it will foster recruitment, retention, and outreach activities to promote the awareness of optics and photonics as career option.

Again, I am pleased to write in support of this win-win proposal that aims to meet both the needs of a student population seeking the skills needed to gain a career in a high tech industry and for the needs of existing photonics businesses seeking new employees to fill current and future job openings.  I appreciate your consideration of this proposal.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator

A copy of Congresswoman Slaughter’s October 2016 letter to the National Science Foundation Director appears below:

Dear Director Cordova,

I am writing to express my support for Monroe Community College’s (MCC) proposal entitled “Optics and Photonics Technology Innovation – OPT IN” to the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program.

Starting in 1963, MCC became the first educational institution in the country to offer a two – year Associates degree in optics and continues to set a national example in optics education.  Under the leadership of Professor Alexis Voigt, MCC is pursuing two objectives through this proposal: First, MCC will strengthen the existing optics program by updating the curriculum to meet industry needs, including adding an online format to accommodate students balancing employment.  The program will also prepare regional high school teachers to teach an “Introduction to Optics” course which will expose younger students to optics and provide them an opportunity to launch an early career.  Secondly, I’m pleased this proposal is increasing the program’s outreach efforts to populations underrepresented in the optics industry, such as Women and minorities.

Located within the largest optics and photonics manufacturing region in the world, MCC Optics is playing a central role in providing a qualified workforce to strengthen our nation’s competitiveness in high tech manufacturing.  The Rochester region recently secured the federally supported $600 million American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics) that will bring together experts from government, industry, and academia to work together on solving common problems in photonics manufacturing.  This collaboration will result in improved technology for our military and spur job creation through the commercialization of new discoveries.  These important efforts are sustained by workforce development programs, like MCC Optics, that are producing the qualified workforce needed to keep up with industry demands.

Throughout its history, MCC Optics has demonstrated success in providing students the foundation they need for a productive career in optics while also making significant contributions to the region’s economy.  I am proud of the work MCC Optics has done and encourage your full consideration of this proposal.

Sincerely,

Louise M. Slaughter
Member of Congress

Sydor Instruments Receives Grants from the Department of Energy, Office of Science

April 18, 2017

A $225,000 SBIR Phase I grant provides for the commercialization of a unique X-ray detector operating in the soft X-ray regime at 100 times faster than current commercial offerings.

Sydor Instruments, a Sydor Technologies Company, announced today that is has been awarded a $225,000 SBIR Phase I grant from the Department of Energy, Office of Science. Sydor Instruments will use this grant in collaboration with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) to commercialize a unique CCD sensor, the Sydor Fast CCD, that allows for direct detection of EUV to tender X-rays at speeds 100 times faster than traditional offerings. X-ray light sources have continued to develop brighter and faster X-ray beams that can exploit new information from their experiments, as long as they have detectors that can resolve the details. The Sydor Fast CCD is specifically designed to allow new discovery for experimental methods like scattering and diffraction, as well as directed research into areas such as, semiconductors and nanomaterials.

The Phase 1 award allows Sydor Instruments to execute the transfer of a proven, installed R&D sensor into a repackaged and enhanced commercial offering that addresses the requirements demanded by the worldwide light source community.


The company also announced that it has received a $223,861 STTR Phase I grant from DOEOS for the commercialization of an ultra-wide dynamic range detector to address the extreme conditions powerful light sources provide.  

Sydor Instruments will use this grant in collaboration with Cornell University to commercialize an ultra-wide dynamic range X-ray detector, the Sydor MM-PAD. Traditional X-ray detectors cannot accommodate the large dynamic range of collected X-rays. When a detector is out of the required dynamic range, fundamental scientific questions go unanswered or the beam line must employ multiple tests, multiple sensors and the additionally complicated analysis.  The Sydor MM-PAD also solves the tradeoff between dynamic range versus resolution by employing a mixed mode analog/digital capability that maintains the single X-ray sensitivity in the analog mode and extends the dynamic range by utilizing an in-pixel digital overflow counter.

Mark Katafiaz, Vice President of US Operations, commented, “Sydor is pleased to be chosen again by the DOE for commercialization of another of the Cornell PAD sensors, the MM-PAD. Our projects with the Cornell detector group continue to address the needs of worldwide scientists and state-of-the-art light source requirements. We are proud to leverage our two New York State entities that are delivering new capabilities to the worldwide science community.”

 

Precision Optical Transceivers Makes Move to Eastman Business Park

March 30, 2017

New York Photonics member Precision Optical Transceivers (POT) is expanding into Eastman Business Park in Rochester. The company currently employs 20 people and expects to add another 30 positions at the new facility over the next two years.

POT works with a wide variety of industries, including health care, education, enterprise, government entities, and service providers.  The company has invested heavily into Silicon and Integrated Photonics over the past two years and expects significant growth in both its technical and manufacturing capabilities by 2020.

“Our company has been growing rapidly so expansion was inevitable.  We wanted to relocate to a place where we not only can continue to grow, but to a place that will actually help us grow.” said Todd Davis, CEO of Precision Optical Transceivers. “

“The recent announcement that the AIM Photonics Test, Assembly and Packaging Center would be located in Eastman Business Park means we will be very close to the epicenter of Photonics research and manufacturing growth. And the manufacturing support infrastructure of the Park means we will have access to all the support we need to grow rapidly.”

The company chose EBP in which to expand its operation largely due to the proximity of the new AIM Photonics facility located on the EBP campus at ONSemiconductor.The optical telecommunications systems developer had long outgrown its Brockport location.  They plan to add positions in engineering, manufacturing and support staff in the coming months.  

Akoustis Signs Definitive Agreement to Acquire 120,000 Sq. Ft. Wafer Manufacturing Facility in Canandaigua, NY

March 24, 2017

STC MEMS, former Infotonics Center, most recently a division of SUNY POLY

Akoustis Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:AKTS), a manufacturer of patented single-crystal BulkONE® bulk acoustic wave (BAW) high-band RF filters for mobile and other wireless applications, announced today it has entered into  binding, definitive agreements to acquire assets from the Research Foundation for the State University of New York (RF-SUNY) and Fuller Road Management Corporation (FRMC), an affiliate of RF-SUNY.  The assets being acquired include STC-MEMS, a semiconductor wafer manufacturing operation and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) business with associated wafer production tools, as well as real estate associated with the facility located in Canandaigua, New York, near Rochester.

Under the terms of the agreements, Akoustis will pay $2.75 million in cash at closing to RF-SUNY and FRMC, subject to certain adjustments and customary closing conditions.  The transaction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of calendar year 2017. As part of the signed definitive agreements, Akoustis plans to acquire all of the following:

  • 120,000 sq. ft. commercial wafer manufacturing facility located in Canandaigua, NY, which includes Class 100/Class 1000 cleanroom space (“NY Facility”).
  • 57-acres of real property associated with the NY Facility.
  • 150-mm silicon MEMS wafer fab operations, including all semiconductor manufacturing tools.
  • Existing silicon-based MEMS business with annual revenues of approximately $3M from multiple customers, including a tier-1 mobile wireless solutions OEM.
  • Trusted Foundry accreditation for MEMS processing, packaging and assembly.
  • Two existing tenants with multi-year leases.

Dr. Art Geiss, Co-Chairman of Akoustis, said, “Akoustis will merge its patented BulkOne® BAW RF filter process into the STC-MEMS foundry, an operating silicon-wafer-based MEMs manufacturer.  Since there is significant overlap between the tools and processes used to produce our BAW devices and silicon-based MEMS, transferring our process into the STC-MEMS foundry will accelerate the technology into production.  In addition, we believe that some of the foundry processes used in silicon-based MEMS manufacturing may be utilized in new ways to make further performance improvements in Akoustis’ single-crystal BAW RF filters.”

Jerry Neal, Co-Chairman of Akoustis, added, “This acquisition is an enormous win for Akoustis and is consistent with our capital-efficient business model. A comparable manufacturing facility to build and qualify for production would take up to 2-years and cost well over $50 million, not to mention the challenges of recruiting and training qualified personnel.”

The transaction allows Akoustis to internalize manufacturing providing substantial capacity and control of its wafer supply chain for single crystal BAW RF filters. Akoustis plans to utilize the NY Facility to consolidate all aspects of wafer manufacturing for its disruptive and patented high-band RF filters targeting the multi-billion mobile and other wireless markets. This planned consolidation of the Company’s supply chain into the NY Facility is expected to shorten time-to-market for its RF products, greatly enhancing the Company’s ability to service customers. Shorter time-to-market cycles provide the Company the opportunity to increase the number of customer engagements.

Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “When combined with its skilled workforce, the Finger Lakes region’s burgeoning R&D and advanced manufacturing industry cluster create the perfect environment for innovative companies like Akoustis to grow and thrive. The addition of new research and manufacturing jobs in Canandaigua will diversify and strengthen the local economy and help to ensure the region continues moving in the right direction.”

Jeff Shealy, CEO of Akoustis, commented, “We look forward to welcoming the dedicated professionals at STC-MEMS into the Akoustis family, and thank Governor Cuomo and his entire organization for their tireless efforts attracting Akoustis to New York State.”

Akoustis plans to maintain the existing customer engagements which are transferred as part of the transaction.  The Company plans to maintain the existing Trusted Foundry accreditation for MEMS processing, packaging and module assembly and will seek to expand the accreditation for the NY facility to include BAW RF filters and sensors.

Concern regarding the Department of Defense Trusted Foundry in Canandaigua ran high in Rochester’s Optics, Photonics and Imaging Community since last year’s indictment of SUNY POLY, New York State, and construction officials by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara for bid-rigging.  This is a very welcome announcement.

Left to right: Dr. Jerry D. Neal, co-chairman, Akoustis; Mary Winters, Director of Business Development, STC MEMS; Jeff Shealy, CEO and Founder, Akoustis; Paul Tolley, VP for Disruptive Technologies, STC MEMS; Art Geiss, co-chairman, Akoustis

SYNTEC Optics Completes Facilities Consolidation In Rochester

March 1, 2017

Consolidation creates efficiencies for the innovative 20-year old company and its customers.

Syntec Optics, (video here) a privately-owned advanced polymer optics manufacturing company in Rochester, NY, has announced the completion of its move from three separate facilities in New York State to the City of Rochester.

Syntec Optics (website here) is making American manufacturing globally competitive again. The move enables global customers to now benefit from a vertically integrated supply chain and quicker product development cycles”, said Al Kapoor, owner of Syntec, who appreciates the optics talent Kodak and Bausch & Lomb helped create over many decades in the City of Rochester.syntec-01

Kapoor continues to invest in Syntec Optics, helping the company continue to be an industry pioneer. He founded Syntec Optics and its affiliates immediately after his graduation from Harvard Business School in 1997 and was later able to buyout his outside institutional investors. Syntec’s pioneering plastic optics assemblies and components are used in numerous industries, from defense missiles and night vision goggles, to medical detection of disease, and consumer virtual reality.

Karen Altman, Manager of Business Development for the City of Rochester said, “We are fortunate to have Syntec Optics in Rochester and welcome this consolidation in  the City of Rochester.”

Syntec Optics claims to be North America’s largest polymer optics assembly and opto-mechanical component provider. Renovation and development of a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility more than 85,000 sq. ft. in size, built on over 7 acres of land, allowed co-location of its polymer optics & optics assembly division with its optical mold, diamond turning optics, and optical coating division. Syntec’s affiliated opto-mechanicals division, Wordingham Technologies was also co-located. Offerings from all divisions can now be combined at the same location to make polymer optics assemblies for the full light spectrum.  

“The consolidation has created powerful synergies for our cross-functional talent. This combined capability allows us to quickly assess and solve incredible difficult problems, creatively under one roof” said Steven Polvinen, President of Syntec Optics.

To learn more about this new capability please visit Syntecoptics.com and watch the video, or call Sara Hart at Syntec Optics at 585.464.9336 x101 or 650.616.4229.

OSA Rochester Section / Entrepreneurship in Optics and Photonics: A Panel Discussion

February 24, 2017

OSA Rochester Section

Tuesday, March 7 at 7 PM

Laboratory for Laser Energetics – East Lobby
240 East River Road, Rochester, NY 14623

2017-03-07_optics_entrepreneurship_panel

The focus is on questions from the audience, which will start after each speaker gives a short introduction on their experience with entrepreneurship.