The New York State Photonics Board is in charge of overseeing an estimated $600 million in federal, state, and private dollars. The investments are intended to grow the optics, photonics, and imaging industry in the region.
Mike Liehr is the CEO of the American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics, or AIM Photonics. The institute is only a few weeks old, but Liehr says they're working diligently to start getting things done.
"We took the first set of projects that we had proposed, down-selected some, and we are in the process of awarding those first projects. So, as I said, I think we are off to a really good start and I think we're doing it at a rate and pace that I personally am very proud of."
AIM Photonics is expected to work with private firms as well as the Department of Defense in research and development, and manufacturing. The industry played a major role in the Finger Lakes Region's proposal for $500 million through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative.
During the meeting, the board also voted to make Empire State Development, led by Vincent Esposito, their fiscal agent.
Board Chair Andrew Kennedy says he expects them to meet again before March, hopefully with a completed budget.