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Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces two companies will invest $1.6 billion, create 1,400 jobs

By: Bennett Loudon//March 16, 2016

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces two companies will invest $1.6 billion, create 1,400 jobs

By: Bennett Loudon//March 16, 2016

Governor Andrew Cuomo was in town Wednesday to announce the first two companies lured to Rochester by the establishment of the Integrated Photonics Institute for Manufacturing Innovation last year.

The companies, Avogy and Photonica, will invest $1.6 billion over five years and create more than 1,400 new high-tech jobs mainly at Eastman Business Park, Cuomo said during the announcement in Building 28, 200 Ridge Road, in the Park.

“If you want to have a sustainable economy, a viable economy, you have to make something,” Cuomo said, explaining how the new manufacturing jobs could transform the local economy.

“We’re not going to produce low-end goods because we can’t be competitive there, but we can do advanced manufacturing,” he said.

Avogy, which will move operations to Rochester from Silicon Valley, makes high-efficiency low-cost power electronics technology that is smaller, lighter, more reliable, and with less energy usage. Avogy products have both commercial and industrial uses and include portable charging devices, in-home power management, and future applications in data centers and electric vehicles.

Photonica, which has business operations around the world, makes visual and display technologies, such as virtual reality devices Ultra high definition resolution and large video displays and televisions, flexible and curved video displays, 3D displays, and consumer mobile devices.

Cuomo was joined at the announcement by: Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul; Alain Kaloyeros, SUNY Polytechnic Institute president and CEO; Howard Zemsky, Empire State Development president, CEO and commissioner; Bob Duffy, president and CEO of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce; and Danny Wegman, CEO of Wegmans food markets and co-chairman of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council.

Cuomo said the news is a direct result of the $600 million Integrated Photonics Institute for Manufacturing Innovation announced in July by Cuomo and Vice President Joe Biden. The Institute is a state- and federally-funded program, based in Rochester, with partners at universities and research facilities nationwide.

The Institute provides research and product development facilities for a fee that many private companies might not otherwise be able to afford. Having such facilities in the Rochester area, will attract manufacturing companies to use the resources, establish plants and create jobs.

New York State will spend $35 million to purchase equipment and upgrade infrastructure and cleanroom space at Canal Ponds and Eastman Business Park for the two companies.

In the first phase of the partnership between Photonica, Avogy and SUNY Poly, the two companies will locate their advanced development, prototyping, and early manufacturing operations to the Institutes facility in the Canal Ponds development in Greece.

The second phase will be placement of manufacturing operations at the Eastman Business Park. Both companies will locate headquarters and business operations at the Photonics Institute’s office headquarters at Legacy Tower in downtown Rochester.

Photonica will invest $700 million and create a total of 400 new jobs in Rochester, at the Canal Ponds facility, Eastman Business Park, at supplier companies and other industry partners.

Avogy will invest $950 million in the project and expects its manufacturing operation will employ nearly 400 workers with an average salary of more than $80,000 within the first five years. Suppliers and business partners will generate more than 600 more jobs.

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