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RBA President Robert Duffy Appointed Chair of Photonics Council

By Staff



Rochester Business Alliance president Robert Duffy

SUNY Polytechnic Institute has announced Robert Duffy, former mayor and current president of the Rochester Business Alliance, will chair the new AIM Photonics Leadership Council, which will establish a strategic and technical direction for the $600 million Integrated Photonics Institute on its way to Rochester.

SUNY Poly officials said Duffy’s leadership responsibilities will include direct engagement with industry and government stakeholders, strategic planning and management, “and guiding photonics-enabled innovation and job creation in Rochester, and across Upstate New York.”

“It is an honor to chair the leadership council, and help advance Gov. Cuomo’s vision of creating high-tech jobs across Upstate New York by making Rochester the photonics capital of the world,” Duffy stated. “With nearly limitless possibilities to improve lives through technology and innovation, while creating jobs here at home, photonics is the biggest thing to happen to Rochester since the advent of film.”

Vice president Joe Biden and Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced in July Rochester would be the site for the new institute, after the city became one of three finalists in a federal competition for the project.

Since then the project’s leaders had previously disagreed about where to locate the headquarters for the institute; Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle and University of Rochester president Joel Seligman wanted the offices housed in the Sibley Building, while SUNY Polytechnic Institute CEO Alain Kaloyeros, and Duffy, preferred the Legacy Tower (formerly the Bausch and Lomb building). Ultimately, officials settled on the the Legacy Tower.

According to SUNY Poly, the four remaining members of the leadership council will be chosen in the near future, and a seven-person governance board will also over see the project.

“Leadership Council positions are volunteer and receive no compensation,” officials stated.

In addition, AIM Photonics CEO Michael Liehr said he was pleased with Duffy’s appointment.

“Nobody is more respected or has a deeper knowledge of the Rochester business landscape than Bob Duffy, and we are thrilled he has agreed to assume this important leadership post, and play a pivotal role in guiding the growth of AIM Photonics,” Liehr stated. “With a global network of business and professional relationships and proven experience in the public and private sectors, we are honored to have such a distinguished New Yorker leading us as we move forward.”