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Photonics Firms Avogy And Photonica Invest $1.6 Billion In Rochester, New York, Manufacturing And Operations Hub

03/17/2016
Two leading photonics companies, Avogy and Photonica, will invest $1.6 billion to establish research, manufacturing and operation centers in Rochester, New York. The companies plan to create more than 1,400 new high-tech jobs.

According to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s office, 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 Joe Biden at SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s Rochester-region facility at Canal Ponds.

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 Governor’s office said. 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.

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.

Sutherland Ellwood, Photonica’s Chairman/Chief Technology Architect, said: “We are extremely excited about the partnership with New York State that not only expands our long relationship with SUNY Poly, but leverages the state’s incredible research, education, and cultural assets in a region that is the nation’s photonics capital.”

Dinesh Ramanathan, Avogy CEO/President, said: “We are excited to become a part of the world-class photonics and power electronics consortium, due in large part to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s vision that is making New York State, and Rochester in particular, a high-tech haven for companies like Avogy, and we look forward to tapping into the area’s highly skilled workforce to push the boundaries of innovation. As a leader in the manufacture of both commercial and industrial power electronics, we are eager to move manufacturing operations from Silicon Valley to leverage the photonics and power electronics hub and benefit from the unique model for high-tech growth in New York State.”

"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 Cuomo said. “Major investments like this are driving our momentum as we ensure that the economic resurgence continues in Upstate New York."

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