Photonics Company No Longer Heading to Rochester After State Takes Closer Look

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Photonica, trumpeted as one of the first core companies setting up in Rochester's future photonics hub, is out of the picture, New York's Empire State Development stated late Friday afternoon.

The California-based photonics company had pledged to invest $700 million in Rochester and bring 400 jobs here. Photonica makes new products for video display, routing applications for telecom and photonics integrated circuits.

ESD did state that funding set aside for Photonica can now go toward other photonics projects in Rochester.

After the state's leader of the photonics effort, former SUNY Polytechnics Institute head Alain Kalyeros, was indicted on federal charges, ESD in September took the lead on the project. After a review, ESD determined the Photonica deal "does not meet the standards required for a significant state investment of taxpayer dollars."

The review found that the company didn't comply with requests for information, after which ESD determined Photonica is a "very small emerging technology company that is not capable of moving forward with a project of the size and scale anticipated."

State officials say they are in regular contact with Avogy, the other Rochester photonics partner announced by the governor last March, and caution that these developments aren't to be confused with the larger AIM Photonics Institute, which is still a go.

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