Rochester Photonics Hub

SASHA-ANN SIMONS/ WXXI NEWS

With millions in federal and state funding, Rochester is poised to become a photonics research and manufacturing hub.

And with thousands of new jobs possible, local colleges are preparing their students now to build their careers in the industry.

At Monroe Community College, many more students are enrolling in the optics program.

University of Rochester

Initial estimates for how many jobs the AIM Photonics Institute in Rochester would create were in the thousands, but according to some experts, that kind of economic growth is difficult to predict.

WXXI News

We know what photonics is — it's the science and application of particles of light, called photons.

And we know what it does — photonics technology makes lasers and LEDs, and it is being integrated into microchips and advancing imaging systems.

But the creation of a photonics institute in Rochester is actually part of a national push toward investing in manufacturing jobs.

The Rochester region is poised to become the photonics hub of the nation, thanks to $600 million in public and private investments that will establish a national photonics institute in the city's downtown.

But those without a science background are at a disadvantage when it comes to understanding not only what photonics is, but also how an industry built up around it will affect the local, regional and national economy.

Time to settle this once and for all: What is photonics?

Hundreds of jobs are coming to the Rochester area as a result of the recent push into photonics, which involves the use of light in robotics, medical imaging and other fields. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was among the officials making the announcement today at the Eastman Business Park, telling the crowd that two companies, Photonica and Avogy, will be coming to Canal Ponds and the Eastman Business Park.

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