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U.S. Launches New Photonics Manufacturing Innovation Institute with 124 Partners

Posted By Paul Tate, July 28, 2015 at 6:01 AM, in Category: The Innovative Enterprise

Binary_Data.jpgThe U.S. Department of Defense has announced the formation of a new Manufacturing Innovation Institute focusing on the development of advanced Integrated Photonics technologies.

Photonics allow the use of light particles to carry information and images to help improve applications ranging from high-bandwidth communications, to energy-saving data centers, ‘needleless’ medical procedures, and advanced security and defense systems.

Based in Rochester, NY, the Institute will be run by a 124-member consortium led by the Research Foundation of the State University of New York (RF SUNY) and will be backed by a total investment of $610 million, of which $110 will come from federal funding.

The aim of the Institute is to research ways to shrink electronic components like lasers and optical sensors to a scale hundreds of times smaller than a single living cell and integrate these onto a single, standardized platform. It will also work on developing lower-cost, higher-speed, and more efficient manufacturing processes for photonics technologies.

The consortium behind the new integrated Photonics Institute comprises 55 industrial companies, including GE, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Honeywell, Hewlett Packard, Harris Corporation, Intel, IBM and Corning; 20 universities and laboratories; 33 community colleges and schools; 16 non-profit organizations; and 20 U.S. states from California to New Jersey.

This will be the sixth Manufacturing Innovation Institute to be launched in the U.S. alongside America Makes, focusing on 3D Printing); the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII), PowerAmerica, focusing on wide bandgap semiconductors; LIFT, focusing on lightweight technology and materials; and the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing.  The U.S. administration aims to create 16 Manufacturing innovation Institutes by the end of 2016.

For more insights into the importance of public/private partnerships in driving innovation, and some of the lessons learned about establishing a Manufacturing Innovation Institute, see the new August 2015 issue of the Manufacturing Leadership Journal on http://www.mljournal-digital.com.


Written by Paul Tate

Paul Tate is Research Director and Executive Editor with Frost & Sullivan's Manufacturing Leadership Council. He also directs the Manufacturing Leadership Council's Board of Governors, the Council's annual Critical Issues Agenda, and the Manufacturing Leadership Research Panel. Follow us on Twitter: @MfgExecutive


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