MassMEP Announces Partnership with American Institute for Integrated Photonics to Develop Photonics Ecosystem
October 20, 2015 – Worcester, MA – Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MassMEP), a leading resource for manufacturing companies in Massachusetts, is pleased to announce that it has entered into a partnership with the new American Institute for Integrated Photonics (AIM-Photonics), Rochester, NY. The Institute was created to develop an end-to-end photonics ecosystem in the U.S., providing access to domestic foundries, integrated design tools, automated packaging, assembly and test, and workforce development. Institute activities enable universities and small-to-medium enterprises (SME’s) to participate in the photonics revolution.
On July 27, 2015, Vice President Biden announced that the AIM-Photonics Institute won a Department of Defense Award of $110 million dollars. The award is supplemented by more than $500 million in private contributions, representing the largest public-private commitment for any program for Integrated Photonics worldwide.
Using these funds, the AIM-Photonics Institute will bring government, industry, and academia together to organize the currently fragmented U.S. capabilities in integrated photonic technology. This will better position the U.S. relative to global competition. The Institute will also address the lack of an integrated photonics standard platform by establishing one that meets a diverse set of market and product needs. A standardized platform will allow scaling of the technology to multiple markets, and will drive performance, cost, and scaling requirements.
The AIM-Photonics Institute will make design, fabrication and testing of integrated photonics accessible to U.S. companies of all sizes, academia, and government labs. It will also include programs and resources devoted to workforce education and training at all levels including post graduate, college, and technical high schools in order to build an ecosystem which has access to a trained workforce.
“Massachusetts has been positioned as a key partner within the Institute, because of the state’s financial support of the overall mission and the technical expertise that resides in its institutions and manufacturers,” said Jack Healy, President of MassMEP. “The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is the lead educational partner for the Institute and is coordinating the education and workforce programs for the development of a skilled workforce that will support the growth of the integrated photonics industry.”
Similarly, Quinsigamond Community College (QCC) has been designated as the national community college partner for the Institute to lead in the creation of industry recognizable stackable certificates that create a pathway to 1,2,4, and 6-year certificates or degrees.
“MassMEP will assist QCC in broadening this workforce engagement initiative through the support of QCC’s Innovation Technology Acceleration Center in Southbridge,” stated Healy. “The partnership will help SME’s grow their businesses by connecting them to the services of the AIM-Photonics Institute and to the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation.”