We tend to think of autonomous vehicles largely in terms of their technical challenges. But in a talk at the Frontiers in Optics meeting in Washington, D.C., Ira Moskowitz, the director of advanced-manufacturing programs with the Innovation Institute at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, USA, focused on another, less-well-known side of the challenge.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's AIM Photonics Academy is partnering with Springfield Technical Community College to build a photonics factory, something that is seen as an investment in the future.


In partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s AIM Photonics Academy, Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) plans to create a state-of-the-art facility that would represent a step forward in the development of photonics manufacturing along the I-90 corridor from Boston to Rochester, N.Y. 

A research hub seen as the linchpin of the American Institute for Manufacturing (AIM) Integrated Photonics initiative is soon to open on Lake Avenue — a phased opening that has the initiative's leaders projecting dates ranging from September to March.

It’s easy to see from public postings in the news and on the AIM website that significant progress has been made by the institution whose mission it is to “advance integrated photonic circuit manufacturing technology development while simultaneously providing access to state-of-the-art fabrication, packaging and testing capabilities for small-to-medium enterprises, academia and the government”.

AIM Photonics has received the green light on a grant of $81 million from the state of New York. The funding, announced in late May, will support equipment and operations for the project’s testing, assembly and packaging (TAP) facility, a linchpin of AIM Photonics’ research mission. 

Massachusetts state senator Eric Lesser organized a day on Springfield Technical Community College's campus for local business leaders and community colleges to learn about opportunities in integrated photonics.

AIM Photonics Academy opened a conference "Status 2017 and Strategies 2025: The Integrated Photonics Systems Roadmap," with a call to manufacturers to work together more closely, to build new tools and a unified platform for producing integrated photonics circuits (PICs).

The American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics) announced public release of the 2016 Integrated Photonics Systems Roadmap (IPSR), a 400-page study that seeks to capture market drivers and technology and investment needs for the U.S. integrated-photonics industry over the next 15 years.

Integrated photonics technology is proprietary and is not manufactured in high volume. Establishing an enabling silicon photonics technology as envisioned in the Integrated Photonics Systems Roadmap (IPSR) is a necessary step to achieving low-cost, high-volume manufacturing in this rapidly expanding market, according to AIM Photonics.