The Center for Optics Manufacturing at the University of Rochester will receive a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to continue modernizing precision optics manufacturing technology. COM is the Defense Department's Center of Excellence for Optics.
Modernizing technology is key to helping reverse the U.S. decline in optics manufacturing and allowing the country to compete in a global optics market that may grow to $350 billion by the year 2030.
Since its creation in 1990, the COM has developed a computer-automated lens making machine that increases uniformity while dramatically reducing the labor and tooling expense involved in making optical parts. The technology breakthrough comes at a time when the world market for precision optics is growing exponentially: Lenses, prisms, and mirrors which transmit, amplify, or focus light are used in everything from high-definition TV to optical computing, surgical lasers to missile seekers, and copy machines to camera lenses.
The COM collaborates with industry to implement the new technologies it creates, helping firms increase capability and reduce manufacturing costs.
"This grant will help sustain Rochester's high-skill manufacturing base," said Harvey Pollicove, director of the COM. "We are grateful for Congresswoman Louise Slaughter's assistance in helping us secure these federal funds."