Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce More Than $300K In Federal Funds For Photonics Research & Development At The Rochester Institute Of Technology; Fed Investment Will Bring Nano-Photonics Production Capabilities To Rochester

Aug 11, 2016

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $305,000 in federal funding through the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). This federal funding will allow RIT to purchase an inductively coupled plasma reactive-ion etching system. This high-tech system will allow RIT to conduct fundamental research and education in the fields of nano-photonics, nano-electronics and nano-bio devices. Ultimately, this etching system will bring photonic, electronic and bio device fabrication capabilities to RIT and the Rochester region that did not previously exist. Schumer said this acquisition will bring new research, production and education opportunities to the region, further supporting the recently established American Institute of Manufacturing (AIM) Photonics Center in Rochester, which Schumer and Gillibrand fought long and hard to establish.

“The AIM Photonics center in Rochester is already becoming a game-changer in the field of optics and photonics research and development. These funds will allow RIT add to this burgeoning and job-creating field by becoming a hub for nano-photonic and bio device production and innovation,” said Senator Schumer. “This funding will support our RIT researchers’ crucial work in the field of photonics, so we can spur new opportunities for the Rochester workforce at AIM Photonics. This is the perfect opportunity to invest in the kind of research and innovation that is going keep our domestic workforce and industry globally competitive with other nations in science and technology.”

“This grant is excellent news for the Rochester Institute of Technology, and is a testament to the extraordinarily high quality of research that takes place on their campus,” said Senator Gillibrand. “I will continue to support more federal funding for scientific research at our colleges and universities, so that more young people can be inspired to do research, test their ideas, and help make their communities better places to live.”

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.