In This Issue

  • Optifab
  • NYS Retirement Fund Investment
  • Scratch, Dig Specs Approved
  • Smart Start Venture Forum
  • SBIR Soliciation Announced
  • ASE / Optipro SBIR Collaboration
  • New Products
  • A Farewell
  • Conferences and Events

Common Retirement Fund Investment

$528 Million Available for NYS Companies Through Pension Fund In-State Program

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced a series of regional meetings to help identify potential investments for more than a half-billion dollars available through the New York State Common Retirement Fund's In-State Private Equity Investment Program. DiNapoli said the In-State Fund has $528 million remaining from the $931 million committed to the program.

Said Napoli, "We have a half-billon dollars we want to invest in innovative, cutting-edge technology that is being developed by the best minds in New York. In today's economic environment, the temptation for some investors may be to run and hide. But now is not the time to be timid. I have a fiduciary obligation to find sound investments that will provide strong returns. The In-State program has already helped us find some of those investments right here in New York. We'll be traveling the state looking for more in-state investments that will give us a great return on investment and also help New York's economy."

DiNapoli released a report that found the In-State Program leveraged more than $3 billion of additional investment, helped create thousands of jobs, and achieved a 30 percent rate of return on exited investments. DiNapoli's report notes that to date the Fund has exited 27 companies and achieved an internal rate of return of more than 30 percent, returning $134.1 million to the Fund on $74.9 million invested. In addition, the In-State Private Equity Program achieved a full return on all of its portfolio investments in Summer Street Capital, generating a gross total cash-on-cash return on investment of 3.5 times the Fund's investment and an internal rate of return of 55 percent per annum. Summer Street Capital Partners generated above top-quartile industry performance for the Fund.

"We have benefited from the incredible investment opportunities within New York state and with the capital, support and prestige of the Common Retirement Fund, Summer Street was successful in providing capital necessary to grow and expand New York's small businesses." said Brian D'Amico of Summer Street Capital.

"State Comptroller DiNapoli is committed to expanding the In-State Program and to helping develop New York-based companies," said Bill Mulrow, managing director of Paladin Capital Group. "The Common Retirement Fund's in-state investments enable innovative private equity investors, like Paladin Capital Group, to establish a firm foothold in New York and ensures the state is home to groundbreaking research and technology. This is a great partnership and great program."

DiNapoli's report also notes the Fund's commitment to the Program has grown to $931 million, and the actual investment in New York companies more than doubled to $403.6 million in March 2009 from $195.7 million in December 2006. In addition, since the Program's inception in 1999, the Fund's investments have leveraged $3 billion in additional investments from other sources. DiNapoli is holding the meetings and participating in events to inform New York entrepreneurs and businesses about the opportunities available through the In-State Program. The first In-State Private Equity presentations were held in New York City, Ithaca, Syracuse, and Long Island. Albany's event will be on May 20, Rochester's on June 2, Buffalo's on June 25 and Potsdam on September 8. DiNapoli's report also provides an overview of the Program's progress since it began in 1999:

  • 43 companies were added to the roster of In-State Private Equity Program investments raising the total to 127 companies in March 2009 from 84 in December 2006
  • The number of employees at the companies the Fund invested in increased from approximately 8,818 employees at the time of initial investment to an estimated 11,470 as of March 2009 or when the Fund exited the investment
  • The Fund invested the majority of capital, 55 percent, in companies located north of the New York City suburbs, 9 percent in suburban New York City and 36 percent within the City; and
  • Seven companies relocated to New York state as a direct result of the Fund's capital investment. These companies are Tri-Ed Distribution from Canada, IGA Worldwide from Europe, Smartpill from California, Aequus Technologies and Versamed both from New Jersey, GX Studios from Connecticut, and Associated Content which consolidated from several out-of-state locations.

Through its In-State Private Equity Program, the Fund invests with private equity managers who seek to invest in New York state companies that require capital for growth. The program, created in 1999 with the support of the state Legislature, targets investment of state funds in the New York state economy. The program is designed to provide investment returns consistent with the risk of private equity while also expanding the availability of capital for New York businesses. The program also helps generate jobs and private sector investment in the state.

About the Common Retirement Fund: The New York State Common Retirement Fund is the third largest public pension plan in the United States with more than one million members, retirees and beneficiaries from state and local governments. Comptroller DiNapoli is the sole trustee of the Fund and manages a diversified portfolio of public and private equities, fixed income, real estate and alternative instruments.


SmartStart UNYTECH Venture Forum

May 19-20, 2009 | Crowne Plaza Albany, NY

Register today, MAY 5 and save $100

2009 SmartStart & UNYTECH Venture Forum is a combined event for venture-ready companies interested in getting their company in front of venture funds, and university spin-out companies to showcase their technologies and attract investment partners.

This unique event displays the very best early-stage companies from throughout the entire state of New York. Venture capital funds, seed investment funds and angel groups and investors can meet with and learn more about these company's teams, technologies and plans for succeeding in the marketplace.

Additionally, experienced entrepreneurs are exposed to upcoming companies for their potential involvement, and many of the venture company service providers will also be on hand at this showcase event.

New York State Comptroller, Thomas Dinapoli will be a keynote speaker at the event.


We are deeply saddened by the passing of our friend and colleague Arne Lindquist. Arne passed peacefully on April 2, 2009 at the age of 51 after a long and courageous battle with the auto-immune disease sarcoidosis. Arne was a loving husband to Nancy Lindquist and father to Anika and Erik. Arne is also survived by his parents, siblings, other beloved relatives and many friends. He was a long-standing and respected member of the Optics community.

After graduating from high school as class president, Arne was appointed to the US Coast Guard Academy. He decided military life was not for him and turned to RIT for a design degree. Arne worked his way through RIT as an apprentice optician under Horst Koch of Planar Optics, launching the beginning of a successful career in optics.

In his next job, Arne was mentored as an optician under Herb Graf at the University of Rochester. He later worked closely with Professor Steve Jacobs at the Center for Advanced Technology (CAT) developing some of the earliest techniques to polish damage free surfaces for the OMEGA laser at LLE. Eventually Arne became part of the development team at the Center for Optics Manufacturing (COM) working under Harvey Pollicove, where he played a key role in the advanced manufacturing technologies that were developed over the years. He also served as an active member of the organizing committee for the OSA Topical Meetings on Optical Fabrication and Testing throughout the 1990s.

In his next career move, Arne left the University environment to join Tropel Corporation working in their advanced manufacturing group. He became so proficient with the latest CNC technology at Tropel that he was eventually recruited to join Schneider Optical Machinery, one of the leading optical equipment companies. As head of North American Sales for Schneider, and later as President of his own agency, Optofabrik, Arne had a successful career selling the most advanced equipment to our industry. Arne was very well known and respected as a trusted advisor, applications specialist, and true friend to his many customers and colleagues throughout North America and around the world.

A celebration of Arne’s life will be held on Monday, May 11 at 7pm in the University of Rochester Interfaith Chapel where Arne and Nancy were married 26 years ago. There will be a reception immediately following the memorial celebration in the lower level of the chapel. Dress is casual and happy. As his wife Nancy said, Arne would be wearing shorts!

A long battle with such a terrible illness is extremely difficult and takes its toll on a family in many ways. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation directly to Arne’s family in care of Nancy Lindquist, 71 Radcliffe Rd, Rochester, NY 14617.

At his request Arne’s body has been donated to the Science Life Foundation in the hope that the cause and cure for sarcoidosis will be found. If you would like to support this effort, donations can be made in Arne’s name to the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research, 122 South Michigan Avenue, Suite 1700 Chicago, IL 60603, 312-341-0500 (


Events and Conferences

University of Rochester
Optics Colloquia (ongoing)

See Conference Details Here
11 - 14 May, 2009
Rochester, NY

Photonics North 2009
24 - 27 May 2009
Quebec City, Canada

May 31 - June 5, 2009
Baltimore, Maryland

World Science Festival
11 - 14 June, 2009
New York City

Photonics Festival in Taiwan 2009
OPTO Taiwan / OPTICS Taiwan /
 LED Lighting Taiwan / SOLAR Taiwan / Display Taiwan
10 - 12 June, 2009
Taipei World Trade Center

SPIE Optics + Photonics
2 - 6 August, 2009
San Diego, CA

SPIE Photonics West
23 - 28 January, 2010
San Francisco, California, USA

Optifab 2009




11 - 14 May, 2009
Rochester, NY


Come to SPIE Optifab, the most important optical fabrication event in North America... that happens onlyonce every other year.


Spend a day on the Optifab show floor and you'll see:

  • Over 160 companies dedicated to optical fabrication technologies and applications
  • The newest products: Aspheric Stitching Interferometer (ASI), RP231CR 4" capacity polishing machine, and more
  • See the big machine builders: OptoTech, QED, Schneider, OptiPro, and Satisloh
  • Product demos scheduled every day
  • Commercial Presentations on Wednesday
  • Wednesday Networking Reception
  • "Win an iPod Nano" prize drawing on Thursday

And it's all in one place.

Come to SPIE Optifab 11-14 May - see the newest optical technologies, the big machines, and talk to the people who use them.


See Conference Details Here



Scratch, Dig

ANSI Approves New Surface Imperfection Standard


The American National Standard for optics surface imperfections, OP1.002, has been revised by the American Standards Committee for Optics, ASC/OP, and the change was approved by the American National Standards Institute for distribution. The new version, OP1.002:2009, represents a significant advance for the American optics industry, especially laser optics manufacturers and users, as it allows either a visibility method or a dimensional method for scratch and dig specification. The prior version offered only the visibility method, based on MIL-PRF-13830B.


Scratch and dig specifications are among the most misunderstood and misused notations in the optics community. Although the original surface imperfection standard established by the Army in 1945 has not changed significantly in more than 50 years, there is confusion in industry as to whether you can use high intensity illumination (you can't) or magnification (only under specific conditions, and only to 4x), or even measure the scratches under a microscope, rather than judge the visibility of the scratches subjectively, as the standard requires. The visibility method of OP1.002, first released in 2006, cleared up much of this confusion by streamlining the surface imperfection sections of MIL-PRF-13830B, clarifying the language and providing diagrams of the test methods that are allowed. While an improvement, the standard did not address the subjectivity of the test, or the needs of the laser optics community for a method to control actual dimensions of imperfections down to one micron or even less.


Part 7 of ISO 10110, the international drawing notation standard, provides a dimensional method of specifying surface imperfections which is based on the German DIN standard 3140. Some users of that standard, however, complain that it is too costly to implement as it requires the measurement of every scratch and dig against a chrome on glass comparator, and the accumulation rules are obscure and difficult to implement. As a result, it has not been accepted in the US as a national standard.


The new version of OP1.002 retains the visibility method, but also incorporates the dimensional method used in MIL-C-48497 and MIL-F-48616, which specifies the scratch width in microns. This allows for a more objective specification and validation using either visual comparison or microscopy. But unlike the MIL standards, it adds the capability to specify scratches and digs smaller than 5 microns. It is available for purchase in .pdf form through the ANSI Online store, or in paper form from OEOSC.


All of these standards and more are the subject of my course during OptiFab: Understanding Scratch and Dig Specifications. In that course we discuss all the pitfalls and problems associated with the various methods of specifying scratch and dig, and review how to pick a specification for your application. Particular attention is paid to the new standard, OP1.002:2009.


Savvy Optics
(860) 878-0722


Dave Aikens is president and founder of Savvy Optics. He lives in central Connecticut with his wife and three children, two cats, and about ten chickens.



SBIR 09.2 Solicitation was issued for public release on April 20, 2009.

The DoD SBIR 2009.2 solicitation was pre-released here on April 20, 2009.


The Army, Navy, DARPA, DTRA, DMEA, and OSD invite small businesses to submit proposals under this solicitation. During the pre-release period, which ends on May 17, you may contact the topic authors directly (contact information is listed with the topic) to ask technical questions about specific solicitation topics. The DoD will begin accepting proposals on May 18, 2009 and will close to proposals on June 17, 2009 at 6:00 a.m. ET. Plan ahead and submit your proposal early to avoid the risk of Web site inaccessibility due to heavy usage on the final day.


Collaborative Effort Winds Phase II Award


In March, ASE Optics was awarded a Phase II SBIR contract to continue development of a multi-point probe for non-contact optical metrologyof freeform surfaces. This research is being performed in collaboration with OptiPro Systems. The project has been developing a new type of probe for Lumetrics' OptiGauge that is geared to surface metrology, rather than thickness metrology.


Defense & Security Recap

SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing draws record attendance


Infrared, imaging, displays, and sensing technologies were among the top-drawing topics for the record-breaking crowd at the SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing (DSS) symposium in the Orlando, Florida, World Center Marriott Resort and Convention Center.


The symposium drew 6,124 attendees to technical conferences and an exhibition focused on optics and photonics technologies for industrial, commercial, and defense applications. Prof. Kazuo Hotate of the Univ. of Tokyo was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his work in fiber optic smart sensors. A panel on funding featuring three government executives was among sessions that drew overflow audiences, and a two-day session celebrated the 50th anniversary of the invention of the ground-breaking infrared technology of the mercury-cadmium-tellurium detector.


Company representatives reported good traffic in the largest ever, 515-company DSS exhibition, but not all exhibitors found much in the way of new potential customers. Among optics and optical component manufacturers, diamond turning was hot.

Read more about day-to-day highlights in reports from the meeting by SPIE staff published on the event website.


Several industry leaders and conference presenters were interviewed for video and podcasting from the SPIE Newsroom, and interviews are being posted over the next few weeks. Available now are a video interview with Norman Augustine, retired Chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin, and a podcast and transcript of Augustine's overflow plenary talk on global competitiveness and re-engineering engineering.


New Products, Opportunities, Web Revisions

New Scale Technologies announced that it has developed new rotary piezoelectric motors usingnewscale its patented SQUIGGLE micro motor technology. The custom rotary micro motors were developed for NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Cobra fiber positioner, part of the Wide-Field Multi Object Spectrometer (WFMOS) to be commissioned on the Subaru Telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii in 2013.

Working with JPL's design requirements, New Scale developed two custom miniature rotary motors optimized for high torque and precision. The two piezoelectric motors, measuring only 2.4 x 2.4 mm and 4.6 x 4.6 mm in size, offer better than 0.1 degree step resolution and twice the torque of similar-sized DC micro motors.

SQR custom rotary piezo motor performance:

  • Custom Model SQR-2.4 SQR-4.6
  • Size 2.4 x 2.4 mm 4.6 x 4.6 mm
  • Step Resolution 0.10∞ 0.06∞
  • Speed >=60 rpm >=60 rpm
  • Stall Torque 0.6 mN-m 3.0 mN-m

Each Cobra fiber positioner comprises one SQR-2.4 and one SQR-4.6 rotary piezo motor in a two-stage theta-phi configuration. Overall positioner dimensions are 8 mm diameter x 85 mm length. The WFMOS will have 2400 Cobra positioners in a close-packed hex array pattern on 8-mm centers.

JML's new e-commerce web-site is now on-line. This user friendly, comprehensive web-site explains JML's optical manufacturing and coating capabilities, including technical information and over 4000 stock optical products.

Custom optical systems and components as well as design and coating services can be specified with a simple on-line request.

Thousands of stock catalog items are listed and searchable with the "Lens Finder" feature. The new shopping cart enables customers to place orders 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Paypal and all major credit cards are accepted. JML's extensive, down-loadable test plate list, as well as other helpful technical information is all right there at your finger tips, including an enhanced version of the Optical Calculator.


JML Direct Optics - ISO-9001:2000 Certified
Phone: 585-248-8900 ext. 136
Technical Phone: 585-248-8907
Fax: 585-248-8924

Optimax has on-going research and process engineering for manufacturing off-axis aspheres by raster grinding and polishing the off-axis segment of a master lens with CNC machines. The use of traditional CMM probing, surface profilometry and interferometry are available to qualify the surface. For more information, contact Brandon Light at blight[at]


Contact RRPC

How does one acquire the coveted RRPC Newsletter Cub Reporter Badge?


Contact us with industry news and be the first in your office to wear one (or hide it in your desk).


New York Photonics and the Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster are active and growing collaborative organizations. Efforts are under way on joint training events, workforce development, collaborative advertising opportunities, promoting the commercialization of I.P., and the development of our website to further facillitate business development.


Join us! There are advantages to working together, and we are interested in working with you. Send an email to us at

To subscribe, to unsubscribe, to submit a news item or upcoming event, to suggest a feature or column, or to offer feedback, contact Tom Battley, at 585-329-4029.



Copyright 2009, Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster, Inc.

New York Photonics and The Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster (RRPC) are not-for-profit organizations founded to promote and enhance the New York State photonics, optics and imaging industry by fostering the cooperation of business, academia and government.