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Joint Statement on AIM Photonics Center

Joint Statement from:

Danny Wegman, CEO, Wegmans; Co-Chair, Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council

Joel Seligman, President and CEO, University of Rochester; Co-Chair, Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council

Louise M. Slaughter, Congresswoman, New York 25th District

Joseph D. Morelle, Majority Leader, New York State Assembly

Maggie Brooks, County Executive, Monroe County

Lovely A. Warren, Mayor, City of Rochester

William W. Destler,President, Rochester Institute of Technology

As Co-Chairs of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Council, presidents of academic institutions who helped design the AIM Photonics submission, and as elected officials in our community we want to be quite clear that we remain united in our position and in our determination to bring the most effective photonics program to Rochester.  We believe it unwise for program elements, including the location of the program’s corporate headquarters and manufacturing facilities, to be determined in haste without full consultation with appropriate leaders in our community.

The AIM Photonics Center will be a game changer for Rochester. It will be a key economic driver, not just for technology and innovation, but also for manufacturing in our region. Any undertaking of this importance must be developed in an orderly way. Decisions about where to site the headquarters and manufacturing facilities require a careful process and must be made collaboratively.

We continue to believe that the choice of the Sibley Building is the wisest choice given its strategic importance in the region’s economic revitalization, because it is located within the city’s Innovation Zone, and the University of Rochester, RIT, and government entities have already made significant investment in that area.  But regardless of where in downtown Rochester the AIM Photonics headquarters is located, we are confident that it will provide leadership to our future development of photonics in Rochester.

It is also critical to note that the most important issue we face is to work with our project partners to identify the appropriate settings that guarantee photonics manufacturing be done in our community.  We know that research and manufacturing work best when located together.   As with the siting of the headquarters, this will be based on a diligent evaluation of multiple factors, always with the uppermost goals in mind of creating the most effective advanced photonics manufacturing for our nation, our state and our community in this rapidly evolving industry.