Details scant on photonics institute

- Rochester, NY (WROC)-  Despite all the talk of the announced photonics institute being the biggest thing to hit Rochester's economy since Kodak, we know surprisingly few details about how it will take shape.

First, the institute needs a headquarters. University of Rochester President Joel Seligman is pushing the Sibley Building downtown, where the U of R and Rochester Institute of Technology will soon have offices focused on innovation.

"Rochester, and I mean the City of Rochester, will be the headquarters for this effort," Seligman said. "Manufacturing, clean rooms, will be distributed all throughout the country. but the key is we are building on a legacy."

Manufacturing and research will be spread out because there are 20 colleges, including MIT, that are part of the consortium that applied for the institute, as well as 55 private companies.

But officials insist the bulk of work will be done in Rochester.

"Rochester won it. I want everything here that we can get here,"'said Rep. Louise Slaughter.

How many jobs could be created? No one knows for sure. Only one person News 8 asked took a guess.

"We're looking potentially at between 5 and 10,000 jobs in Rochester
within 5 to 7 years," said SUNY Polytechnic CEO Alain Kaloyeros.

A total of $610 million from the state, federal government, colleges and companies has been pledged so far.

"In many ways, this is your equivalent of the Buffalo billion," said Kaloyeros.

All stakeholders will iron out details in the coming weeks. Choosing a headquarters site is a top priority.

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