Friday, July 24, 2015

Biden coming for optics announcement

Posted By on Fri, Jul 24, 2015 at 10:40 AM

click to enlarge VP Joe Biden. - PROVIDED PHOTO
  • VP Joe Biden.
Vice President Joe Biden will visit the Rochester area on Monday to officially announce that the region will be home to a Department of Defense photonics institute.

According to a report by Gannett's Albany Bureau, Biden will make the announcement at Canal Ponds Business Park in Greece. The business park is home to a former Kodak building, now owned by SUNY Polytechnic Institute, that has been converted into solar cell manufacturing and semiconductor labs. As of Friday morning, no official schedule or notice had been issued by the White House, though Biden is scheduled to make another announcement with Governor Andrew Cuomo at 2:30 p.m. in New York City; it appears the VP will probably come to Rochester in the morning.

Last year, the DOD announced plans to form an Integrated Photonics Manufacturing Institute, and solicited applications for it. The Research Foundation of SUNY submitted a proposal on behalf of the University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, and a group of about 90 other universities and industry groups. The institute will be backed by $110 million in federal funds, and New York State officials have pledged another $250 million. The institute will have its administrative headquarters and lab space in the region.

House Representative Louise Slaughter and Senator Chuck Schumer forcefully lobbied for the Rochester application. On Wednesday, ahead of an official announcement from the White House, Schumer announced that the Rochester application had won.

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