This summer, Rochester Senator Joe Robach welcomed a jobs announcement by Vice President Joe Biden to Rochester and Greece as he and Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that a joint state and federal investment of approximately $600 million in the Rochester region to establish a state of the art, innovative American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics. The AIM Photonics project will receive $110 million from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, and that award will be supplemented by another $250 million from the State of New York, with additional funding commitments from public and private partners expected to exceed $245 million over the next five years for a 5:1 matching of federal funds.
With partners from coast to coast, the American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics will hope to establish a national and international presence in the Rochester area. Integrated photonics is expected to revolutionize the carrying capacity of Internet networks, enhance medical technology and improve imaging-sensing capabilities for national defense and security. The U.S. has been a world leader in developing photonics technology for the past century. Defense applications and technologies includes night vision systems, satellite surveillance systems, infrared, flexible displays, sensors, detectors, data communications, and lasers. Part of the reason why Rochester was chosen for this prestigious honor was due to capable and developed workforce that is available for the type of work that will be done, as well as the infrastructure of development that was established by Kodak and other area innovators. Currently, Monroe County has over 24,000 people employed in the photonics industry, with that number expected to increase as this project is furthered developed.