Why ROC: GRE & NY Photonics alliance


Greater Rochester Enterprise and NY Photonics have formed a strategic alliance to leverage the region’s expertise in optics, photonics and imaging to support business attraction and expansion.

GRE interim President and CEO Matt Hurlbutt and NY Photonics Executive Director Tom Battley discussed the alliance and its goals during our Why ROC conversation Wednesday on News 8 at Sunrise.

“We’re really trying to leverage the optics, photonics and imaging assets we have here in Rochester,” said Hurlbutt. “With Tom’s organization — he’s got more than one hundred and twenty members — are companies that are engaged in all of those technologies. It’s about building relationships, working with those companies, as well as helping drive home the message about the expertise we have here in the region, to bring more interest for companies to expand here and leverage some of the assets that we have here at the University of Rochester, R-I-T, M-C-C, etcetera.”

Battley explained how OPI industry permeates the area. “In terms of an internal meaning to the community, optics, photonics and imaging support about one out of every 14 families in the region. We have over 120 members employing 17,000 people. From outside of Rochester, in the industry, people recognize Rochester as the international center for optics manufacturing. Plus, with those other assets, our members are in every single vertical market that you can image, from medical devices, to defense and aerospace, to the consumer product. The world sees us an international center for this industry.”

Hurlbutt great schools are just part of what’s driving the talent pool and innovation in optics, photonics and imaging. “It goes back to some of our founder entrepreneurs. Eastman Kodak Company was certainly a large optics player. Xerox is engaged in optics. Bausch and Lomb — that helped generate some of the investment in the initial programs. At the optics degree program at the University of Rochester; more than sixty percent of the optics PhD’s in the country are conferred at the University of Rochester. There’s the Chester Carlson Center for Photonics at the Rochester Institute of Technology and the fact we have AIM Photonics headquartered in our community as well. Optics does relay across industry sectors – scanning, imaging and sensing – all of those companies and those technologies are in just about every market, as Tom said. We think there’s a reason why companies should look at growing here and leveraging some of the expertise that we have.”

Hurlbutt said Rochester has the talent, research and development resources, and supply chain to support an expanding OPI company.

For more information about Greater Rochester Enterprise, click here.

For more information about NY Photonics, click here.


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