Posted tagged ‘RRPC’

OptiPro Systems Receives 2016 Tibbetts Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration

January 26, 2017

 High-tech manufacturing company recognized for achievements in the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program

OptiPro Systems, LLC, a world leader in precision optics optipro_3d-no-tagline-copymanufacturing equipment, was honored with the 2016 Tibbetts Award for their achievements in innovation and job creation as a participant in the SBIR program. The company credits the program to helping develop solutions for cost-effective manufacturing of optical components with defense and commercial applications. OptiPro was one of 37 U.S. companies to receive this prestigious award during a White House ceremony on January 10th.Named in honor of the late Roland Tibbetts, the acknowledged father of the SBIR program, the esteemed Tibbetts Awards recognize those individuals, organizations, firms or projects that made a visible technological impact on the socio-economic front and exemplify the very best in SBIR achievements.

“It is truly an honor to be a recipient of the 2016 Tibbetts Award. Without the SBIR program, OptiPro would not have been able to make the R&D investments necessary to grow our company and advance our technology to where it is today,” said Mike Bechtold, President of OptiPro. “Our continued success with the SBIR programs will help us to create the best possible advanced manufacturing solutions, especially for our important U.S. based precision optics and ceramic producing companies.”  

 Since receiving their first SBIR grant, OptiPro has grown from less than 15 employees to more than 80 today. The company hosts a semi-annual SBIR review conference which highlights the technical advancements being made by OptiPro as well as other small companies participating in the SBIR program. Through the SBIR program, OptiPro has developed new machines and processes which are commercialized in sales to Prime contractors, small to medium sized optics manufacturers, and exported around the world. All profits earned since receiving their first SBIR grant have been re-invested in the company to increase technological improvement and commercialization of technologies.

>>more about OptiPro<<

Precision Drives JML Optical

December 7, 2014

It’s been a very exciting time in this industry,” Bob Bicksler, president and CEO of JML Optical, said. “Sophisticated electronics, matched up with software, has resulted in a tremendous transformation.”

JML has undergone a transformation of its own since Bicksler and COO Gregg Sadwick acquired the company from founder Joe Lobozzo three years ago. The company has invested in its 80 employees with training and new equipment to help design, manufacture and ship spherical and flat lenses in sizes ranging from two millimeters to 18 inches in diameter.jml126

Each job gets its own attention to detail. The entire process, cut to polish, depends on the project, said Gary Clark, JML vice president of marketing and business development, in a prepared statement.

“The time it takes to make a precision optical element varies from three to twelve weeks,” Clark said. “The time span is driven by the degree of precision needed, the specific optical glass used, the features of the element and the current work load in manufacturing.”

>>>More at Gannett Rochester<<

Toptica Positioned at the Center of the Optics Universe

November 30, 2014

Toptica has positioned itself at the center of the optics universe, with a Victor office that handles sales, support, service and light manufacturing for its North American clients and a president who holds physics and business degrees from both the University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology.Toptica

“We have the best right here in Rochester,” President Mark Tolbert said. “The U of R is one of the optics hubs, and RIT is has a strong presence in technology. We provide scientists with the tools to do their work. Sixty percent of our business involves advanced research in university and government labs.”

NIST observes that Rochester, New York is bursting with energy, photonic energy

July 1, 2014


Rochester, New York is bursting with energy, photonic energy! The New York (NYSTAR) MEP Center, aka High Tech Rochester, is a key player in the revitalizing this industry, along with various economic and business development entities in the Rochester region.

To strengthen and grow this industry the Rochester region has received three grants; the Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator, (AMJIAC) the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia Program (AMTECH), and the Investing in
Manufacturing Communities designation (IMCP). They are also gearing up to apply for a more significant and larger scale program, the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, in order to further grow the optics and photonics industry.

Read more here…

Excellent Business Opportunities for RRPC Members at Optatec Frankfurt

May 21, 2014
QED President Andrew Kulawiec makes another convert during the last minutes of the exhibition on Thursday

QED President Andrew Kulawiec makes another convert during the last minutes of the exhibition on Thursday

Representatives from several RRPC member companies attended Europe’s largest exhibition for optics, optical systems and components this week in Frankfurt, Germany.

The RRPC, JML Optical Industries, Rochester Precision Optics, QED Technology Inc., Corning Tropel Corp., and the IDEX companies Semrock and CVI/Melles Griot were among the 585 exhibitors at Optatec, May 20-22. Sydor Optics also attended, meeting with customers on the exhibition floor.

This is the first time the photonics cluster has attended Optatec, helped in part by the Economic Development Administration component of  the Rochester Regional Optics, Photonics and Imaging Accelerator.  The goal of the EDA is cluster, business and technology development, part of which includes funding for RRPC’s  presence at foreign trade shows.







Letter: Slaughter has led on photonics

March 4, 2014

Letter: Slaughter has led on photonics

In reference to the Feb. 2 essay by Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (“To fight poverty locally, invest in well-paying jobs”), I applaud the congresswoman’s efforts on behalf of optics and photonics. This is an industry that is highly technical and often not understood by many outside of Rochester, but the everyday technologies enabled by optics and photonics are well known — smartphones, laser surgery and high-speed Internet, for example.

Rep. Slaughter works tirelessly to educate her colleagues and advance optics and photonics in Congress. I thank her for her efforts on a local and national scale. Rochester is well served by the leadership of Congresswoman Slaughter.

President, The Optical Society (OSA)

RRPC 2013 Annual Awards Announced

September 11, 2013

The Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster announced the recipients of three annual awards and a special lifetime achievement award at its annual meeting on Thursday, September 5th at the Rochester Museum & Science Center.



The RRPC Entrepreneurship Award was awarded to Michael Bechtold, CEO, Optipro, for demonstrating creativity, innovative spirit and drive in pursuit of the dream of creating an industry-leading company in the Optics, Photonics and Imaging Industry.  Bechtold began a machine-tool business in Ontario, Wayne County in in 1982.  He began working with the UR Center for Optics Manufacturing in 1990, designing and manufacturing specialized deterministic optics manufacturing machine tools and metrology equipment as the company grew.  Optipro now employs 65 people.  The company added 20,000 square feet to their building in 2011 and is embarking on another 10,000 sq. ft. expansion.



The RRPC Leadership Award was awarded to Paul Ballentine, Associate Director, Center for Emerging and Innovative Sciences, University of Rochester for working with RRPC members and the community to promote the Rochester Region’s Optics, Photonics and Imaging Industry.  Ballentine moved back to Rochester from Austin, Texas in 2011 to take a leadership position at CEIS.  His efforts for the OPI community included leading the team that won the Rochester Regional Optics and Photonics Jobs Accelerator grant award in 2012, convening the University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology, High Technology of Rochester, Monroe Community College and RRPC in a multi-pronged effort to increase jobs in the region’s Optics and Photonics small and medium-size enterprises.


Van Kouwenberg and Battley

The RRPC Education Award was awarded to James Van Kouwenberg, Training Coordinator and Master Optician at Optimax Systems, for inspiring students to embrace Optics, Photonics, and Imaging sciences and guiding them in career development.  Van Kouwenberg, a graduate of the MCC Optical Systems Technology program has taken on numerous community optics and photonics education programs in addition to his in-house training responsibilities at Optimax Systems.  These include work with regional grammar schools, middle schools and high schools; work with the RRPC Optics Summer Sizzler held annually at Monroe Community College; and work with East High School’s Optics Manufacturing program.


Slaughter and Battley

The RRPC Optics & Photonics Award was awarded to Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, Representative 25th District, NY for her long-standing support of Rochester’s Optics, Photonics and Imaging industry.  Slaughter recently secured $2 million in funding for a project including Exelis Rochester, University of Rochester Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) and QED Technologies.

Since 2004 Slaughter has been able to secure over $682 million in funding for the LLE, located on the University of Rochester campus.  Established in 1970 as a center for the investigation of the interaction of intense radiation with matter, LLE has a five-fold mission: (1) to conduct laser-fusion implosion experiments in support of the National Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) program; (2) to develop new laser and materials technologies; (3) to provide education in electro-optics, high-power lasers, high-energy-density physics, plasma physics, and nuclear fusion technology; (4) to conduct research and development in advanced technology related to high-energy-density physics; and (5) to operate the National Laser Users’ Facility (NLUF).

For more information contact Thomas Battley, RRPC Executive Director