NY State Photonics Board Announces Site Selector Hired for AIM Photonics’ TAP Facility

The New York State Photonics Board today announced two more milestones for the American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics) project in Rochester.  Empire State Development, the state’s economic development agency, has hired Newmark Grubb Knight Frank (NGKF) as the site selector for AIM Photonics’ Testing, Assembly and Packaging (TAP) facility.  The SUNY Research Foundation has also issued Requests for Proposals (RFP) on behalf of SUNY Polytechnic Institute, AIM’s lead institute, for equipment at the site.  First announced by Vice President Joe Biden and Governor Cuomo in July 2015, AIM will help secure the nation and region’s leadership in emerging technology research, development and manufacturing.

“I am pleased that our efforts to bring the concept of a world leading AIM Photonics Institute in Rochester is now moving into the realm of physical reality with the ordering of the necessary tools and the commencement of a professionally led independent process to select a suitable site in the Rochester area,” said New York State Photonics Board Chairman John Maggiore.

NGKF, one of the world’s leading commercial real estate advisory firms, will conduct a site location study based upon criteria and specifications that will be developed in coordination with the United States Department of Defense and other key stakeholders for AIM Photonics’ TAP facility in the Greater Rochester area.  The facility will be used to test, assemble and package chips that use photons in place of electrons for increased performance of semiconductor circuits.  NGKF works with global companies across all industries and asset types—including significant work in the semiconductor field—which allows it to understand the location needs and drivers of these initiatives.  For this particular project, NGKF will conduct a thorough review and evaluation of potential sites in the Greater Rochester area and will make a recommendation as to which site is the most appropriate for the TAP facility.  NGKF’s work will include significant contact with ESD, AIM Photonics, the Department of Defense and other key stakeholders to understand the region and facility.  Any individuals or entities with potential sites should contact Chris Volney, Managing Director, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, Global Consulting, at cvolney@ngkf.com.
“NGKF understands both the challenges and opportunities presented by this project and has a unique set of expertise to assist ESD, particularly with understanding the location requirements of such a facility,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky.  “We will work closely with NGKF and our state and local partners to find the best fit for TAP within the Greater Rochester region.”
Concurrently, an additional 24 Requests For Proposals (RFP) have been issued by the Research Foundation on behalf of SUNY Polytechnic Institute, serving as administrator of AIM Photonics, for 53 tools to be located at the site to be selected in Rochester.  $78 million has been earmarked for the purchase of these tools, which are integral to the site’s phase one buildout and establishment of AIM’s Test Assembly and Packaging line.  The RFPs were released on August 30, 2016 with a submission deadline of October 14, 2016. Those interested in submitting a proposal can find procurement contact information online at www.aimphotonics.com.
“The leadership of AIM Photonics is delighted with the rapid and steady progress being made as we work to establish critical capabilities for our partners,” said AIM Photonics CEO Mike Liehr. “We have an amazing team we have assembled which has brought us to this exciting next phase of growth. I extend my sincere thanks for their continued dedication.”
“I support a site that works best for the project and the people who will work there,” said AIM Photonics Leadership Council Chairman and Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Executive Officer Bob Duffy.  “We have a strong team in place ready to recommend a site in the Greater Rochester area.  I applaud Governor Cuomo for his work in advancing AIM Photonics in Rochester.”
The New York State Photonics Board of Officers approved $106 million, the first tranche of state expenditures approved by the board of the $250 million total over five years that New York State committed to the project, in June 2016.  The total budget is $612,877,000 with the federal government committing $110 million and the state and other parties, including private sector companies, providing the balance. New York State’s $106 million includes $11 million to be spent on operating and maintenance costs and $95 million to be spent on capital, including the purchase and installation of equipment and tools that will be used for many years. Overall, the capital budget is front end loaded to allow the establishment of TAP facility early in the life cycle to enable AIM’s sustainability through industry relationship and commercial engagement with enough lead time to revenue generation.
Today’s milestone photonics announcements are part of the Finger Lakes Forward initiative, the region’s blueprint to building an advanced economy.  These continuing efforts will not only help to fuel economic growth and create jobs, but will aid in further securing this region’s place as the photonics capital of the nation.
About the New York State Photonics Board of Officers
The New York State Photonics Board of Officers coordinates New York State’s significant financial investments with AIM. The board of officers consists of seven members who represent a wide array of business, programmatic, and technical expertise. The Governor of New York State appoints the Chairman and two additional members; SUNY Poly Institute appoints two members; and the Rochester Institute of Technology and University of Rochester each appoint one member. The Photonics Institute Board of Officers is comprised of: John Maggiore, Chair (Governor appointee), Anne Kress (Governor appointee), Alexander Cartwright (Governor appointee), Ronald Goldblatt (SUNY Poly appointee), Paul Tolley (SUNY Poly appointee), Ryne Raffaele (RIT appointee) and Rob Clark (U of R appointee).

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