Recent News

Round 1 for 2024 Manufacturing Grants Opens January 15th

New York State not-for-profit organizations that partner with at least one New York State small to medium-sized manufacturer in any stage of maturity are eligilble to apply for up to $65k in awards up until February 14, 2024. 

Click here for more information


A recent alumnus is catching attention for his work applying novel optical sensing technology to help farmers grow more sustainably by facilitating the targeted application of pesticides and fertilizers. Francis Pellegrino ’22 (optical engineering) was interviewed by green.org about his startup Advanced Growing Resources (AGR).

Francis shared that his passion is creating technology that helps solve the world’s biggest problems. While he started out small and launched the company from his garage while he was still a student, he says he’s fortunate to be part of such a rich optics community locally.

“New ventures must dive deep into ideas that do not scale in order to learn enough about their customers to accomplish things that do,” he says. “Small steps towards those first iterative ideas are a great way to start, and there is no better place than your own backyard. I am fortunate that my home base of Rochester, NY has remained America’s Optics Capital for over 150 years.”

Read the full interview with Francis at green.org.

Francis Pellegrino




Thorlabs Expands B2B Capacity with the Acquisition of JML Optical

Newton, NJ and Rochester, NY

January 16, 2023

Thorlabs announced today that it has entered into a definitive purchase agreement to acquire custom designer and manufacturer of precision optics, JML Optical Industries, LLC (“JML”). Founded in 1972, JML has 70,000 square feet of space dedicated to the design, production, and testing of aspherical, spherical, plano, cylindrical, and acylindrical lenses and multi-element optical devices. The transaction is expected to close in January 2023. Read more...

thor labs


Paul Ballentine Rochester Business Journal op-ed: 

Rochester primed to build industry cluster in semiconductor chip packaging

September 16, 2022

Paul Ballentine, Executive Director, Business Development for the Center for Emerging and Innovative Sciences shares his insight into the semiconductor industry in New York state following the passing of the CHIPS + Science Act. Read more...


America Chip