In This Issue
RRPC Networking next meeting:
New Scale Technologies
Call or email Tom Battley to register to attend!
Frontiers in Optics
OSA Annual Meeting 2010
Scientific and industrial leaders and decision makers come from around the globe to attend and exhibit at Frontiers in Optics (FiO) at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center this October 24 – 28 (Exhibition Hall open October 26 and 27). All seven of OSA’s technical divisions are covered at FiO which include Optical Design, Fabrication and Instrumentation; Optical Sciences; Optics in Biology and Medicine; Optics in Information Science; Photonics; Quantum Electronics and Vision and Color. Of particular note is the Industrial Physics Forum featuring experts discussing exciting laser applications in biomedicine, the environment, metrology, and more. Selected highlights and speakers include:
With everyone from business leaders to optics and photonics pioneers and legends in attendance, FiO will prove itself yet again to be the must attend event of the year. Register to exhibit today!
MIT Industrial Performance Center
No Single Approach Works; Local Clusters
The Future Is Your Decision!
Getting the Most Out of the Recovery
October 5, 2010; 3-5pm
Alan Beaulieu (Institute for Trend Research), acclaimed economic trend forecaster and one of the country’s most informed economists, will present the financial outlook for U.S. industry and the global economy.
Hosted by Finger Lakes Advanced Manufacturers’ Enterprise (FAME), Finger Lakes Community College, Genesee Community College and Monroe Community College.
12th Annual Glass Cartel Clambake
Monday, October 25, 2010
Brooklea Country Club
891 Pixley Road
Rochester, NY 14624
That's Monday evening prior to the OSA Annual FiO.
You may also contact Judy Schnarr at Sydor Optics to make your reservation.
Cerium Shortage Affecting Glass Fabricators
During the past two months, vendors began informing customers of a cerium shortage resulting from a change in Chinese export policies concerning rare earth exports. Quotes on cerium-based slurries have been shortened to one week from certain vendors.
Prices for the compound slurries have more than doubled in recent weeks causing some fabricators to contemplate a "cerium surcharge" to their own quotes to customers.
"Shipping companies do it for fuel charges; and with the price volatility we have been experiencing in the past few weeks, I am not sure that we can absorb the costs," said Mike Naselaris at Sydor Optics.
"It's not that we don't have rare earth elements ... when the Chinese started dumping it, we stopped producing it, along with the rest of the world. It all corresponds with the "opening up" of China 25 years ago. Look at the second link also ... it is a clear picture of what is happening and why. And BTW, I predict that once the Mountain Pass Mine and others open up again, the price in China will drop to early levels. That won't happen until mid-late next year in my crystal ball. This is a short term problem." -- Chris Viggiano, FJ Gray Glass
Short term in the markets might mean a year or less, and to companies using $2,000 and more in cerium slurry each month, that doesn't necessarily feel short term.
See an article in the Economist here.
See a letter from a vendor to a customer here.
See an article in EE Times here.
Read a GAO report here.
Numbers up in Optics Program
Enrollment in the Optical Systems Technology program at Monroe Community College has doubled to 21 students as of Fall 2010, reports Dianna G. Phillips, Dean of Technical Education.
“Enrollment is up from just this spring. We have been working on a plan to increase enrollment of matriculated students, and we are thrilled that the plan is working.”
According to Phillips, the goal is to increase enrollment to 50 students (full and part-time) over the next 3 years, enabling us to graduate about 15 – 20 students per year. Additionally, there are over 80 Mechanical Engineering Technology students taking introductory optics courses.
Molded Glass Optics
Acknowledging a critical need for lighter, smaller, and higher performance optical components in many military programs, the Army SBIR program awarded RRPC member Rochester Precision Optics (RPO) a grant for demonstrating their superior glass molding technology on July 20, 2010.
Glass molding technology can meet these demands through its ability to mass produce complex geometries with high degrees of accuracy and precision. Nearly all future programs that contain optics will benefit greatly if current and future molded technologies are integrated early in the development cycle.
RPO's plans include the following:
Current Army programs that stand to benefit from size and weight reduction efforts are Thermal Weapon Sight (TWS), Enhanced Night Vision Goggle (ENVG), Monocular Night Vision Device (MNVD), Aviatorís Night Vision Imaging System (ANVIS), Sniper Night Sight (SNS), Clip-on Sniper Night Sight, Laser Target Locating System (LTLS) Lightweight Laser Designator Rangefinder (LLDR) and Small Tactical Optical Rifle Mounted (STORM).
One or two other federally-funded programs in the U.S. have been trying to play catch-up on RPO's advanced molding technology for several years. RPO continues to lead the way.
SBA Cluster Grants Awarded
SBA Administrator Karen Mills announced the U.S. Small Business Administration’s support for 10 regional economic development and job creation efforts through a new pilot program, “Innovative Economies.”
The pilot program supports small businesses participation in regional economic “clusters” – collaborations between small businesses, the public sector, economic development and other organizations.
“Maximizing a region’s economic assets is one of the best ways to create long term job growth, and that’s what SBA’s new Innovative Economies pilot initiative is doing,” Mills said. “Today we are announcing funding support for 10 regional economic clusters. SBA’s support will help expand the opportunities and the role small businesses play in these regional collaborations, which are enhancing the ability to create jobs locally and compete on a national and global scale.”
The 10 “Innovative Economies” awardees selected from among 173 applicants to participate in the pilot program represent a wide range of diverse geographic areas and industries. From urban to rural and clean energy to robotics, the applicants focused on leading research and commercializing new products.
SBA’s funding will be provided to each cluster’s organizing entity to strengthen opportunities for small businesses within the cluster. The funds can be used to provide services, including mentoring and counseling small businesses, as well as to attract more small business participation.
SBA is supporting two types of innovative economies: Regional Innovation Clusters and Advanced Defense Technologies. The seven Regional Innovation Clusters focus on providing business training, commercialization and technology transfer services, counseling, mentoring and other services that support the growth and development of small businesses in the cluster region.
The SBA also worked with the U.S. Department of Defense to identify areas around the country where regional innovation clusters can help meet critical defense technology needs. Three Advanced Defense Technology awardees will focus on providing business training, counseling, mentoring, matchmaking and other services to small businesses that focus on critical DoD technologies.
Defense Related Awards:
The RRPC was one of the 173 applicants. We submitted a Defense -Related Technology Cluster Application in this round but were not awarded a contract. In our debriefing with SBA staff we learned that of the four scoring criteria, our qualifications were deemed "excellent," and our technical approach, experience and strategy were all rated "good."
How does one acquire the coveted RRPC Newsletter Cub Reporter Badge?
Contact us with industry news and be the first in your office to wear one (or hide it in your desk).
New York Photonics and the Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster are active and growing collaborative organizations. Efforts are under way on joint training events, workforce development, collaborative advertising opportunities, promoting the commercialization of I.P., and the development of our website to further facillitate business development.
Join us! There are advantages to working together, and we are interested in working with you. Send an email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To subscribe, to unsubscribe, to submit a news item or upcoming event, to suggest a feature or column, or to offer feedback, contact Tom Battley, at 585-329-4029.
Copyright 2010, Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster, Inc.
New York Photonics and The Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster (RRPC) are not-for-profit organizations founded to promote and enhance the New York State photonics, optics and imaging industry by fostering the cooperation of business, academia and government.