The New York State Photonics Board of Officers Holds Virtual Meeting to Outline Future of AIM Photonics Facility in Rochester

March 9, 2023

Board Recommends $27.5 Million NYS Funds to Enhance State-of-the-Art Facility at Eastman Business Park

Optics, Photonics, and Imaging Innovation is Centerpiece of “Finger Lakes Forward” – The Region’s Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy

The New York State Photonics Board of Officers (NYS Photonics Board) met virtually today to discuss New York state’s continued commitment to the American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics). The board received a progress update from AIM leadership on the institute’s role in the semiconductor industry and specifically the state-of-the-art Test, Assembly, and Packaging (TAP) Facility in Rochester, NY, located on Lake Avenue at the Delta-X facility in Eastman Business Park. The board approved a proposal for $27.5 million in previously committed New York State funding to invest $23 million in new equipment and tool upgrades to further enhance the TAP facility’s research and development capabilities and to amplify the consortium’s collaboration with regional universities with $4.5 million in operational support.  These continued partnerships, notably with the University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology and Monroe Community College, will serve to create educational opportunities for students, helping to train the high-technology manufacturing workforce needed to support the photonics industry in the region and statewide. The specific recommendations made today are part of the state’s original $250 million commitment to AIM Photonics.

“The photonics ecosystem in New York is growing stronger each year and to keep the momentum going, the Board took several actions today that will help to expand research and development capabilities, attract new partners, and increase workforce and educational opportunities for New Yorkers,” said David Anderson, Chairman of the Photonics Board and President of NY CREATES. “We were pleased to welcome Dr. Cook as the new Executive Director of AIM Photonics and look forward to our continued work together to advance integrated photonics capabilities and bolster New York’s status as a world leader in photonics R&D and advanced packaging.”

The Photonics Board also officially welcomed William W. “Wade” Cook, Ph.D., who was appointed as Executive Director of the Institute last fall., who was appointed as Executive Director of the Institute last fall.

“Integrated photonics technologies offer the promise of smaller, better, faster, lighter devices that will significantly improve people’s lives and help ensure our country’s defense readiness,” Cook said. “We appreciate the investment New York state has made in this critical technology and are excited to continue to expand the capabilities of our Test, Assembly and Packaging facility in Rochester.  The TAP facility is an important part of our mission to grow the integrated photonics ecosystem in the U.S.”

Cook, a Rochester native and photonics industry veteran, has over 20 years’ technology experience in optics and photonics, serving in roles ranging from engineer to manager to executive-level positions.

AIM Photonics officials today also updated the board on the consortium’s total membership and on its customer pipeline. Currently, 196 organizations are engaged with AIM including members, customers, collaborators, and organizations that use the Process Design Kit (PDK) developed by AIM; and additional interested collaborators from across the U.S.

The Federal Government additionally remains fully committed to the consortium’s mission. In 2021, AIM Photonics secured a new seven-year cooperative agreement with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and the Research Foundation of the State University of New York, which includes support totaling more than $321 million from OSD, DoD service labs, private companies, colleges and universities, and other state governments that will be used to help ensure the manufacturing readiness of advanced photonics, a technology that is essential to national security and critical to the future of high-performance microelectronics.

New York State’s commitment to AIM Photonics’ mission is supported by the Finger Lakes Forward Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI) and is aimed at attracting integrated photonics companies to set up manufacturing operations in the region. The greater Rochester area is already a leader in photonics research and development, and this additional State funding for the TAP will further leverage this unique asset and the nationwide AIM consortium to bring the businesses and the jobs of tomorrow to New York State.

As a result, AIM Photonics, through its Upstate New York manufacturing locations at the Albany Nanotech Complex and the Rochester TAP facility, is continuing its work to develop advanced integrated photonics capabilities for a wide array of existing products and will enable critical applications such as data communications, telecommunications, light detection and ranging (LiDAR), chemical and biological sensing, artificial intelligence, quantum applications and custom DoD applications. 

Thanks to AIM Photonics’ efforts, several significant events have occurred including the development of an advanced, integrated photonic-based COVID-19 antibody sensor. This effort was led by the University of Rochester, enabled by AIM, and includes local companies such as Ortho Clinical Diagnostics and Syntec Optics. Providing fabrication and packaging support to companies as they evolve from concept to market is an important aspect of the consortium’s contribution to the integrated photonics ecosystem. AIM has also seen an expansion of the customer base who use the capabilities at the TAP facility, which is capable of microelectronic packaging in addition to integrated photonic packaging. Growth in academic, government and industry users has been realized.

Additionally, in collaboration with the Rochester Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, more than 6,800 learners have been trained in AIM Academy’s Photonic Integrated Circuit (PIC) design course, an online class that dives into fabless photonics chip design and leverages industry software to model, simulate, layout, and error-check a PIC for high-tech applications. The participation in the course has demonstrated an intense interest in integrated photonics design and technology. 

One of 16 Manufacturing Innovation Institutes, with three of the sixteen institutes headquartered in New York State, AIM Photonics is an industry-driven public-private partnership that focuses the nation’s premiere capabilities and expertise to capture critical global manufacturing leadership in technologies that are both essential to national security and positioned to provide a compelling return-on-investment to the U.S. economy. For more information about AIM Photonics, visit

About the New York State Photonics Board of Officers

The New York State Photonics Board of Officers coordinates New York State’s significant financial investments with AIM. The board of officers consists of seven members who represent a wide array of business, programmatic, and technical expertise. The Governor of New York State appoints the Chairman and two additional members; SUNY Polytechnic Institute appoints two members; and the Rochester Institute of Technology and University of Rochester each appoint one member. The Photonics Institute Board of Officers is comprised of: David Anderson Chair, Governor appointees Ed White and Alexis Vogt, SUNY Poly appointee Andrew Russell; Jeff Cheek, SUNY Poly appointee; Ryne Raffaele, Rochester Institute of Technology appointee; and Tom Brown, University of Rochester appointee.

Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward 

Today’s announcement complements “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s comprehensive strategy to generate robust economic growth and community development. The regionally designed plan focuses on investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture‎ and food production, and advanced manufacturing. More information is available here.

About Empire State Development

Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency ( The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing the Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of “I LOVE NEW YORK,” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit and

Shari Voorhees-Vincent (ESD) | [email protected] | (585) 399-7055
Kristin Devoe | (ESD) [email protected] | (518) 292-5107
Jason Conwall | [email protected] | (518) 956-7373