Finger Lakes

Home to the city of Rochester, many innovative companies and a burgeoning, world-renowned wine industry.

The Finger Lakes Region is shaping the future

The Finger Lakes region is where innovative businesses, higher education and livable communities all meet. This region is home to a wealth of notable academic institutions, great access to international markets in New York City and Canada, and an innovative urban industrial center in Rochester, a world leader in optics, photonics and imaging.

5th

in the U.S. for most patents per capita

7th

brainiest large metro in the U.S. with 19 colleges and universities located in the Finger Lakes Region

$3.4B

Invested by the state into the Finger Lakes Region since 2012

Key facts

Here’s a look at the reasons why businesses of all kinds are thriving in the Finger Lakes Region:

  • The Finger Lakes Region is home of the “big three” (Kodak, Xerox and Bausch & Lomb) and was once known as the “World’s Image Center,” but has grown and diversified over the decades.
  • The region is now home to a large and innovative range of industries, including optics, photonics and imaging, general and advanced manufacturing, high-tech electronics and software, life sciences, telecommunications and IT, medical devices, breweries, and alternative energy (e.g., fuel cells, wind). 
  • The University of Rochester and its affiliated medical center is the sixth-largest employer in New York State and is fourth in the state in overall R&D funding.
  • Rochester is the home of the new American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics). This institute was created with $610 million in public/private funding ($250 million from NYS) to develop the next generation of integrated photonics and deliver global manufacturing leadership. 
  • The Finger Lakes region boasts one of the largest agricultural and food processing industries in the eastern United States, plus a maturing wine region recently named one of the best tourist destinations in the world. 
  • The Finger Lakes Region is also home to leading food and beverage companies like Wegmans Food Markets, LiDestri Foods and Constellation Brands.
  • Direct and connecting flights through Greater Rochester International Airport (ROC) serve 2.5 million passengers annually, making transportation convenient.
  • Access to 7% of the world’s fresh water and world-renowned recreational opportunities, advanced health care systems, affordable housing, numerous cultural amenities and attractive downtowns all make the Finger Lakes Region a desirable place to live. 

The Finger Lakes regional office works hand-in-hand with new and existing businesses to help identify funding options. They provide a range of economic development programs for building new facilities, relocating a business, expanding operations and workforce, and entering new markets and international arenas.

See opportunities in the Finger Lakes Region

Visit the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council site to see strategic plans, current projects and the latest economic data, plus access funding applications and more.

Regional Office


Vincent Esposito, Director
400 Andrews Street – Suite 300
Rochester, NY 14604