October 25, 2021
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Announces AIM Photonics Awarded $321 Million to Continue Building Robust Silicon Photonics Ecosystem in the U.S.

Governor Hochul Announces AIM Photonics Awarded $321 Million to Continue Building Robust Silicon Photonics Ecosystem in the U.S.

New Round of Funding will Enable Next Stage of Development for Critical Defense Applications and Other Advanced Capabilities

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the American Institute of Manufacturing Photonics has secured a new seven-year cooperative agreement with the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Research Foundation of the State University of New York, which includes support totaling more than $321 million.

The funding includes $165 million awarded by AFRL on behalf of U.S. Department of Defense and $156 million from other sources, including more than $60 million previously awarded from New York State as part of a $250 million commitment to establish the institute, contributions from participating companies, colleges and universities, and other state governments. The funds 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

"As New York continues to rebuild our economy, we remain focused on growing the new and emerging technology sectors that will be the economic engines of the future," Governor Kathy Hochul said, "Under my administration, New York will always do everything possible to support our brightest minds as they push the boundaries of what is possible and with this funding in hand, we are now better able to ensure New York and the nation will remain at the forefront in the world of technological innovation, research and development."

Director of Office of the Undersecretary of Defense's Technology and Manufacturing Industrial Base program Rob Gold said, "This award signifies the Department's continued commitment to advancing integrated photonics technologies in conjunction with its investments in microelectronics. AIM Photonics has achieved remarkable technical success in its initial five-year standup period as a Manufacturing Innovation Institute. Even more progress is anticipated over the next seven years as the domestic industrial base in integrated photonics matures."

Empire State Development Chief Operating Officer and Executive Deputy Commissioner Kevin Younis said, "Thanks to the cutting-edge work and research being done by the team at NY CREATES and AIM Photonics, New York State continues to be recognized as a pioneer in this emerging field, whose application has the potential to span myriad business markets. The Department of Defense's extended partnership with New York will allow us to further develop this cutting-edge industry and create economic opportunities, both now and in the future, throughout the state."

AIM Photonics, headquartered at the Albany Nanotech Complex in Upstate New York, will continue 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.

The Institute is also committed to ensuring there is a highly skilled labor force to support the industry through education and workforce development programs that support manufacturing within the entire silicon photonics ecosystem. This commitment includes large corporations, small to medium manufacturing companies, university researchers, federal agencies, and members of the photonics industry supply chain.

Senator Chuck Schumer said, "Now more so than ever it is critical that we invest in the technologies of the future and support our world-class photonics ecosystem from Albany to Rochester and beyond. This substantial award will not only strengthen our national security, but will help strengthen and advance our nation's photonics industry to preserve America's competitive edge in manufacturing for generations to come."

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, "This investment in photonics research and development is critical to our national security interests. New York has long been a leader in advanced manufacturing and I will continue fighting to ensure that AIM Photonics and other New York institutions have the resources they need to continue to conduct cutting edge research."

Representative Joe Morelle said, "New York is already at the forefront of advanced optics and photonics, and this exciting award will further cement our place as a leader in global innovation. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee and founder of the Congressional Optics & Photonics Caucus, I am particularly excited about the opportunities this funding presents to strengthen our defense technologies and support our Armed Forces. I am grateful to Governor Hochul and our many government partners for their longstanding dedication to advancing New York's innovation economy."

Representative Paul Tonko said, "Strong investments in manufacturing technologies offer significant dividends for our nation, supporting a highly skilled workforce, encouraging economic growth and shoring up American competitiveness abroad. This funding further solidifies New York State as a leader in research and development while strengthening our national security. My thanks to the vision of AIM Photonics and all those partnering in this worthy effort to build out U.S. manufacturing and photonics technologies."

AIM Photonics has developed a process design kit that supports electronic photonic design automation (EPDA) from chip to package. Coupled with its multi-project wafer program and unique test, assembly, and packaging capabilities, this enables designers to manufacture their designs at a fraction of the cost normally associated with prototype development.

AIM Photonics has been nationally recognized for creating the world's first open-access complete silicon photonic manufacturing ecosystem that supports current and future photonics technologies. AIM's ecosystem provides the photonics industry, the academic research community, and the DoD access to a full suite of design tools, advanced wafer fabrication, testing, and chip packaging technologies throughout the entire product development cycle. The work is conducted at the Test, Assembly and Packaging (TAP) facility in Rochester, New York, and at the Albany Nanotech Complex, which is owned and operated by NY CREATES and is recognized as the most advanced, publicly owned semiconductor R&D site in the nation.

Dr. Tod A. Laursen, Acting President of SUNY Polytechnic Institute and Chair of the AIM Photonics Leadership Council said, "We are uniquely positioned to provide a proven, advanced manufacturing environment that is vital for the evolution of integrated photonics. Our goal is to continue to increase industry, academic and government participation in the commercialization of this critical technology by providing unparalleled access to the advanced infrastructure needed to support the full development cycle of both current and future integrated photonic applications."

David Harame, Chief Operating Officer of AIM Photonics said, "This is a time of rapidly emerging applications using silicon photonics. There will be important new applications to come and this investment in AIM Photonics will impact the silicon photonics U.S. ecosystem by providing access to unprecedented photonics technology."

About AIM Photonics
AIM Photonics is one of nine Manufacturing Innovation Institutes (MII) established and managed by the U.S. Department of Defense to leverage innovation and commercial best practices in the advancement of the nation's competitive technology lead and security interests. AIM Photonics is also a member of the Manufacturing USA network, which seeks to secure U.S. global leadership in advanced manufacturing. Learn more at www.aimphotonics.com.

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