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  • Michigan Launches Photonics Cluster
Apr 2013
ANN ARBOR, Mich., April 16, 2013 — IPG Photonics, Rigaku and Advanced Photonix Inc. are among the members of a newly established photonics industry cluster alliance in Michigan.

The organization, called Mi-Light, officially launched on April 10, when a meeting was held to elect the inaugural board of directors. Michelle Stock of mlstock consulting was appointed the cluster’s chair. Mi-Light plans to hold an annual meeting.

In 2012, Mi-Light received $89,000 from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) to kick off activities supporting and promoting the growth of the state’s photonics industry cluster. Leaders from Michigan photonics companies began meeting in 2008 to collaborate on the cluster’s development.

“We appreciate the foresight of the MEDC and the state in recognizing the important role that Michigan has to play in the global and rapidly expanding photonics industry,” Stock said. “Industry and educational organizations from across the entire state are participating in Mi-Light initiatives that will benefit many dimensions of the state economy.”

The organization’s mission is to leverage the strong industrial and academic expertise to expand industry, attract funding and stimulate innovation in Michigan as well as stimulate collaboration among companies, academia and organizations to support and promote photonics-related business.

Funding will also be used to develop photonics education and training programs in Michigan to increase the availability of skilled technical personnel.

Other founding members, sponsors and partners include Fraunhofer USA, Laser Mechanisms Inc., L-3 Communications, Coherix, EMAG Technologies Inc., Grand Valley State University, Baker College, Visotek, Northwestern Michigan College, Data Optics Inc., The Ann Arbor section of the Optical Society of America, University Lowbrow Astronomers, the Lurie Nanofabrication Facility at the University of Michigan and Ann Arbor Spark.

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