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Optics, Photonics, Imaging & Lasers

Rochester, NY is the world leader in optics, photonics, imaging, and laser technologies.

Photo by J. Adam Fenster / University of Rochester

Home to 120+ Businesses Focused on Optics, Photonics, Imaging, and Lasers

From the Mars Rover to the James Webb Space Telescope, viewing new worlds is possible thanks to scientists and engineers in Rochester, NY, the world leader in optics, photonics, imaging, and laser technologies.

This region’s imaging history is unparalleled. It’s the birthplace of forward-looking companies such as Eastman Kodak Company, Xerox Corporation, and Bausch + Lomb. To all optics, photonics, imaging, and laser companies: we invite you to take advantage of our area’s educated workforce and industry expertise. Approximately 17,000 Rochester residents are employed in the industry. More than 60 percent of all optics degrees conferred in the US are conferred right here in Rochester. In addition, Monroe Community College is the first U.S. community college to offer an associate degree in optical systems technology.

With an economic output of more than $3.5 billion annually, our region is the most robust, sophisticated and highly integrated optics, photonics, imaging and laser supply chain in the nation. Rochester’s optics industry is diverse, including remote-sensing companies such as L3Harris, sophisticated supply-chain firms such as Corning, Thorlabs Lens Systems, Rochester Precision Optics, IDEX Health and Science, and smaller ventures such as Lumetrics, and VisualDx. We’re a research and manufacturing hub supported by the University of Rochester’s Institute of Optics, the Laboratory for Laser Energetics and Rochester’s Institute of Technology’s Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science and Lobozzo Photonics and Optical Characterization Lab. It’s no surprise that the region also generates a vast number of the nation’s patents in optics, photonics, imaging, and laser technologies.

Notable Optics, Photonics, Imaging & Laser Companies in Rochester, NY

Xerox Corp.

Document systems, software, services and supplies.

Eastman Kodak

Graphic communications, digital printing, packaging, micro 3-D printing and packaging.


Midsize to large precision optics and optical systems including mirrors, mounted optical assemblies and metering structures.

CooperVision, Inc.

Soft contact lenses and related products.

Bausch + Lomb Inc.

Contact lenses.

Optimax Systems Inc.

Optical components including aspheres, cylinders, prisms and spheres for ultraviolet, visible and infrared application.


Geospatial software, aerial imagery, and analytics.

Rochester Precision Optics LLC

Manufacturer of complex optical components, assemblies and electro-optical systems for visible and infrared applications.

Carestream Health

Medical and healthcare IT solutions and X-ray film and digital X-ray products.

Corning logo


Global supplier of materials and optics for the semiconductor manufacturing industry.

Quality Vision International Inc.

Designs and builds dimensional measuring machines combining optical imaging, laser, and contact sensors.

Optics, Photonics, Imaging & Laser Research and Development Resources

The American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics)

Headquartered in Rochester, New York, AIM Photonics brings the nation’s leading talent from companies, universities, and federal research institutions together under one entity to develop the next generation of integrated photonics and deliver global manufacturing leadership.

Luminate NY

Luminate NY is the world’s largest business accelerator for startup firms in the optics, photonics and imaging industries. This program, administered by NextCorps, provides resources for entrepreneurs interested in solving challenging optics, photonics and imaging problems, including but not limited to: machine vision, inspection, biophotonics, security, surveillance, augmented and virtual reality, and autonomous vehicles.

The Center for Emerging & Innovative Sciences

The Center for Emerging & Innovative Sciences (CEIS) is a New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research (NYSTAR) designated center for advanced technology. The Center develops and transfers technology to industry for commercialization and educates the next generation of leaders in the fields of imaging and microelectronics design.

The University of Rochester’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics

The University of Rochester’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics hosts two of the highest energy lasers in the world, Omega and Omega EP. Researchers from universities and agencies come from around the world to use this facility for research.

New York Photonics Industry Association

Responsible for world-changing technologies like television, instant copying, fiber optics, and consumer photography, New York businesses and research centers are now developing—and exporting around the world—breakthrough applications for adaptive optics, high-speed communications, geospatial imaging, photonic computing, nanolithography, and biomedical imaging. New York Photonics provides problem-solving expertise with a collaborative ethic that maintains rigorous standards and understands the importance of speed to market for optics, photonics, and imaging companies.

World-Class Talent at Competitive Rates Below the National Average

PositionRochester Annual Mean WageNational Annual Mean WageRochester Advantage
Architectural and Engineering Managers $155,940$172,2909.5%
Chemical Engineers$82,750$122,91032.7%
Chemical Technicians$58,720$60,9203.6%
Computer Network Support Specialists$72,580$78,6407.7%
Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technologists and Technicians$67,710$74,4409.0%
Electrical Engineers$103,530$117,68012.0%
Electrical, Electronic, and Electromechanical Assemblers, Except Coil Winders, Tapers, and Finishers$40,700$43,7407.0%
Electro-Mechanical and Mechatronics Technologists and Technicians$65,960$72,4308.9%
Electronics Engineers, Except Computer$101,750$124,19018.1%
Engineering Technologists and Technicians, Except Drafters, All Other$59,880$75,29020.5%
Engineers, All Other$107,820$118,3508.9%
Mechanical Engineering Technologists and Technicians$64,940$67,9904.5%
Mechanical Engineers$92,610$105,22012.0%
Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians$38,840$41,2805.9%
Production Workers, All Other$37,700$41,0008.0%
Sales Engineers$110,660$130,55015.2%
Software Developers$115,160$138,11016.6%
Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers$100,190$108,4607.6%
Source: Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2023: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Image of person looking at images, photo by Luminate

Learn More About Optics, Photonics, Imaging, & Laser Technologies in Rochester, NY

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