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Photonics companies to invest $1.6bn in Empire State, create 1,400 jobs

Staff writer |
Two leading photonics companies, Avogy and Photonica, will invest $1.6 billion and create more than 1,400 new high-tech jobs in Rochester, N.Y.

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The investment comes on the heels of the $600 million Integrated Photonics Institute for Manufacturing Innovation announced in July by Governor Cuomo and Vice President Biden at SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s Rochester-region facility at Canal Ponds.

"This marks a transformative moment for Rochester that will fuel economic growth, create jobs and further secure this region’s place as the photonics capital of the nation," Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said.

"By bringing this proven nanotechnology-driven economic development model to Rochester, we are attracting big businesses and building a thriving 21st century economy. Major investments like this are driving our momentum as we ensure that the economic resurgence continues in Upstate New York."

Under Phase I of the innovative partnership between Photonica, Avogy and SUNY Poly on behalf of New York State, the two companies will locate their advanced development, prototyping, and early manufacturing operations at Canal Ponds’ cleanroom facilities, with a Phase II placement of manufacturing operations at the Eastman Business Park.

Both companies will locate headquarters and business operations at SUNY Poly’s recently announced photonics headquarters and technology accelerator at Legacy Tower.

Combined under Phase I, Avogy and Photonica will invest more than $1.6 billion over five years and create and support more than 1,400 new high-tech jobs.

The companies join dozens of academic, government, and industry partners from across the country led by SUNY Poly to secure the nation's leadership in emerging technology research, development, and manufacturing.

In Phase I, Photonica will create and support 400 new jobs in Rochester, including facility operations at Canal Ponds and Eastman Business Park, additional supplier companies, and co-located industry partners.

The total project investment of $700 million over the next five years includes $35 million by the state to purchase equipment and upgrade infrastructure and cleanroom space at Canal Ponds and Eastman Business Park.

Also under Phase I, Avogy will move operations to Rochester from Silicon Valley. The company has developed industry-first high efficiency low cost power electronics technology that are smaller, lighter, more reliable, and with significantly less energy usage.

Its products have both commercial and industrial uses and include breakthroughs on portable charging devices, in-home power management, and future applications in data centers and electric vehicles.

Photonica currently has business operations around the world and is a leader in next-generation visual and display technologies with applications ranging from virtual reality devices UltraHD resolution and large video displays and televisions, flexible and curved video displays, 3D displays, consumer mobile devices, and to military and national defense and mass consumer and business markets.

The company currently works closely with the Navy and Air Force as well as leading consumer electronics and semiconductor manufacturers.

Avogy will scale up production of its current technologies with high volume manufacturing in Rochester and will employ nearly 400 workers with an average salary of more than $80,000 within the first five years, and its suppliers and high tech business partners will generate more than 600 additional support jobs.

Total project investment of $950 million includes $40 million by the state for necessary tools and infrastructure upgrades at Canal Ponds and Eastman Business Park to support advanced manufacturing.


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