Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday that the AIM Photonics Manufacturing Facility will be located in Eastman Business Park in Rochester at ON Semiconductor.
The facility will be used to test, assemble and package chips that use photons in place of electrons for increased performance of semiconductor circuits.
The New York State Photonics Board of Officers met on Wednesday and unanimously recommended the new site.
“The selection of ON Semiconductor further cements the Finger Lakes’ position at the forefront of the photonics industry and as a national leader in this emerging, high-growth field,” Governor Cuomo said. “With a long history of spearheading technological innovation, Rochester is delivering on a bold vision to revitalize the regional economy and jumpstart 21st century growth. It’s clear that our strategic investments in next generation industries are paying off – delivering high-paying jobs and driving the Finger Lakes forward.”
Officials say this announcement means jobs will be opening up in Rochester soon.
“A lot of these kinds of jobs require scientists with a PhD,” said Tom Battley, the executive director of New York Photonics. “But with the development of new kinds of tools and training will be technicians.”
50 to 100 jobs are expected to be filled at the facility starting in 2017.
In September 2016, Empire State Development hired an independent site selector for the TAP facility.
Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, a commercial real estate advisory firm, conducted a review and evaluation of potential site locations based upon criteria and specifications developed in coordination with the United States Department of Defense and other key stakeholders.
The site selection process recommended ON Semiconductor, located in Building 81 at Eastman Business Park, based on its existing infrastructure, including a clean room; regional accessibility; and the fact that it had the highest “quality” score based on factors such as building functionality, operational needs and real estate terms.
ON Semiconductor is also likely to meet the required project timing and has the ability to leverage significant existing building and system infrastructure.
It is also located at the Eastman Business Park, which is a priority strategic site identified by the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council.
An environmental review will be conducted by Empire State Development and the site is expected to be approved by the Empire State Development Board of Directors at a later date.
In a statement, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter said,
The selection of ON Semiconductor’s Rochester facility as the site for the nation’s only Testing, Assembly and Packaging facility is a pivotal moment for our community and our effort to get the photonics institute online. I’m especially proud that this one-of-a-kind facility will be calling the nation’s most impressive industrial park home. This decision will give leaders at the TAP facility on-site expertise while helping Eastman Business Park attract new businesses and continue to grow. The three-year effort to bring a photonics manufacturing institute to Rochester has allowed Monroe County to lead the world in photonics research and build the most advanced and innovative workforce anywhere. This announcement will begin an exciting new chapter for our region.
Senator Chuck Schumer said,
The AIM Photonics Testing, Assembly, and Packaging facility will now become a job-creating reality right here in Rochester. This facility, that originally housed the R&D and cleanroom manufacturing space where Kodak pioneered the semiconductor image sensors that made digital cameras, imaging satellites, and countless other cutting edge digital imaging technologies possible, will now once again incubate the next revolutionary photonic breakthrough: photonic integrated circuits. This facility situated on Eastman Business Park’s doorstep, offers the U.S. Department of Defense and our government, industry, and academic partners exciting capabilities, infrastructure, and capacity to draw the best minds to and from Rochester to figure out how to manufacture low-cost integrated photonics that will power the devises and technology we will all depend on in the decades to come. It will simply be the only facility of its kind in the U.S. and will be at the center of it all.
The Photonics Board of Officers also heard a presentation by AIM Photonics CEO Michael Liehr regarding AIM Photonics’ draft spending plan for 2017-2018.
The board will consider the $81 million funding request at its next meeting in the first quarter of 2017.
The board also welcomed two new board members: SUNY Poly Interim President Bahgat Sammakia and SUNY Research Foundation President Jeff Cheek.
The American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics was first announced by Governor Cuomo with Vice President Joe Biden in July 2015.