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About New York Photonics

We’re all on the same wavelength here: YOURS. Responsible for world-changing technologies like television, instant copying, fiber optics and consumer photography, New York businesses and research centers are now developing—and exporting around the world—breakthrough applications for adaptive optics, high-speed communications, geo-spatial imaging, photonic computing, nanolithography, and biomedical imaging. Look to New York Photonics for problem- solving and a collaborative ethic that maintains rigorous standards and understands the importance of speed to market.

New York Photonics: Where entrepreneurial vision meets next-edge research.

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

New York has hundreds of optics, photonics and imaging companies, many with active regional collaborations. Rochester, NY stands out for number of companies and historical legacy.

  • Over 100 OPI Companies, ~17,000 employees
  • Over $3B in annual sales
  • 5% - 7% annual employment growth in OPI SME’s smaller than 500 people
  • Monroe Community College Optical System Technology Program, developing technicians for the optics and electro optics workforce
  • Responsible for educating >60% of the Optics PhD’s in the nation
  • 1 in 14 Monroe County households supported by the industry
  • Home to the nation’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics
  • University of Rochester Institute of Optics
  • Rochester Institute of Technology Imaging Sciences and Microelectronics
  • Bi-Annual Navy SBIR (Small Business Innovation & Research) optics conference
  • OptiFab, the only optical fabrication conference in the U.S.
  • Responsible for generating a vast numbers of the nation’s patents in optics, photonics and imaging technologies.  #1 per capita in patents in the nation.  95% of OPI patent holders still live in Rochester
  • The most robust, sophisticated and highly integrated optics, photonics and imaging supply chain in the nation
  • Top suppliers and builders for machine manufacturing, metrology, nanotechnology, semiconductor, biomedical, consumer electronic, military / defense, laser, research, automotive, mapping, geospatial imaging, entertainment and other OPI products
  • Embedded long-standing contracting relationships with DoD primes and second tier suppliers


Bausch & Lomb, Corning, Kodak and Xerox, make this region a research and manufacturing hub, rich with knowledge, experience and innovation in optics manufacturing, metrology and imaging. It is supported by the University of Rochester’s Institute of Optics, the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, Rochester Institute of Technology, and the Infotonics Technology Center.


University of Buffalo’s Institute for Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics develops new materials and technologies with a special emphasis on Opto-Biotechnology and Optical Communications. The region is home to a diverse base of optics manufacturers, distributors and instrumentation companies.


Syracuse, Ithaca and Rome are home to photonic firms serving the aerospace, healthcare and optics industries—including companies such as Lockheed Martin, Welch Allyn and EMF Corporation. The area also boasts the Cornell Center for Materials Research—focused on advanced materials structured at the nanoscale.


The Center for Advanced Technology in Nanomaterials and Nanotechnologies at the University of Albany has over 150 partners worldwide and houses the only pilot prototyping facilities in the academic world for both 8” and 12” wafers. The center is also focused on next generation nanolithography. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Center for Automation Technologies and Systems is developing real-time control of optics for applications in imaging and laser beam forming.


Coherent (originally Quantronix Corporation) offers customers worldwide hundreds of laser systems. In addition, Coherent is working with City University of New York to create its high-energy titanium sapphire amplifier systems—creating a pump laser that provides high-output energy and excellent beam quality. The area is invigorated by educational and research programs at Stony Brook and Brookhaven—leading firms such as Amplification Technologies, Electro Optical Products Corporation, Spectrum Thin Films, Tecoptics, and Veeco have located there.

Rochester Board of Directors

Paul Ballentine, University of Rochester CEIS

Michael Bechtold, Optipro

Brian Carroll, The Superior Group

Wade Cook, Quality Vision International

Julian Goldstein, Navitar

John Hart, Lumetrics

Dane Hileman, Rochester Precision Optics

John Herbrand Esq.



Rick Plympton, Optimax Systems

Mike Richardson, Rochester Institute of Technology

Neal Slifkin, Harris Beach

Chuck Synborski, XACTIV

Paul Tolley, University at Albany College of Nanoscale Systems Engineering STC MEMS

Tom Battley, Executive Director
RRPC and New York Photonics