MIT’s AIM Photonics Academy helped organize a gathering of more than 60 people at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts, earlier this month to explore opportunities in integrated photonics, and discuss possibilities for a large investment to create a Lab for Education and Application Prototypes (LEAP) in integrated photonics there.

About 60 people gathered at Tuesday’s event in Donahue Hall, from educators to Massachusetts industry leaders. All were itching to hear of a potential future in photonics – widely regarded as the next big technological revolution.  Dr. Lionel Kimerling, an executive with MIT’s AIM Photonics Academy, said Tuesday he sees an entirely new world based on integrated photonics.  The greater Boston area (or the I-90 corridor) could be “the Silicon Valley for the next technology,” involving photonics, he said.

MIT Professor Duane Boning gave an overview of the current state of silicon photonics and why he believes it is time for the electrical engineering community to learn about this important technology. In Professor Boning’s presentation, he made the claim that silicon photonics has become “interesting, convergent and designable." 

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.