Congresswoman Louise Slaughter and Optics Industry Panel Present Need for National Photonics Initiative

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Optics industry experts and government officials discussed a National Photonics Initiative to advance the industry at the Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster (RRPC) annual meeting.

RRPC Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster

The RRPC promotes and enhances the photonics, optics and imaging industry in New York State and the Rochester region.

Advances in optics, many of which have been created in Rochester, are instrumental in enabling key technologies contributing to U.S. economic upturn.

This month, more than 200 business and technology leaders met to learn about the driving forces behind the optics industry’s critical role in the Rochester and U.S. economies.

Advances in optics, many of which have been created in Rochester, are instrumental in enabling key technologies contributing to U.S. economic upturn: from consumer electronics like the iPad to medical device innovations like the SmartPill and mobile diagnostics, to military advances like drones.

At the annual meeting for the Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster (RRPC), optics industry experts and government officials advocated for a National Photonics Initiative (NPI), a collaboration among industry, academia and government to drive investment in fields critical to U.S. competitiveness and national security, including:

  •     advanced manufacturing
  •     communications and information technology
  •     defense and national security
  •     energy
  •     health and medicine

The NPI would require federal funding to pursue research and development that individual companies cannot afford to undertake alone.

The base of talent and industry in the Rochester area is recognized globally, and is viewed by many as the natural choice to lead a National Photonics Initiative. Addressing the audience at the meeting, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter said, “New York can compete against entire countries.”

Panelist and professor Jennifer Clark, of Georgia Tech’s School of Public Policy, stated that the regions primed to compete and thrive offer deep, specialized labor markets; horizontally and vertically networked institutional intermediaries focused on innovation; and established, firm networks and strategies for manufacturing.

“Rochester is a natural fit, given our optics ecosystem,” RRPC Executive Director Tom Battley said.

To learn more about the National Photonics Initiative, visit http://lightourfuture.org/. For more on Rochester’s role in advancing the science of light and the key U.S. markets it drives, visit http://www.newyorkphotonics.org.

About RRPC
The Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster (RRPC) (http://www.newyorkphotonics.org) is a not-for-profit organization founded to promote and enhance the New York State photonics, optics and imaging industry by fostering the cooperation of business, academia and government. Its members represent the top optics and imaging companies in the world. Its partnerships, alliances, and ongoing innovation bring international opportunities to Rochester.

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