Annual Report 2002 - Cornell University
003 Selected Faculty Research

02 Growing the photonics industry in Rochester, NY

Susan M. Christopherson, City and Regional Planning, revealed that the photonics industry can provide the foundation for the future economy of Rochester, NY. Photonics—the technology of generating and harnessing light and all forms of radiant energy—includes lasers used in many areas from medical microsurgery to precision manufacturing, and in apparatus such as roadside equipment that shows how fast one is driving. The photonics industry would replace the imaging and optical products industries for which Rochester was known between the 1930s and the 1980s. Christopherson and graduate students reported that this emerging industry—with products needed by a range of industries from communication and information processing to national defense—will be more successful in the global economy than the traditional industries because of its exceptional diversification. The researchers found that although the majority of photonics customers are outside the Rochester region, nearly all the photonics firms' suppliers are within the region.

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