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  • Arkansas photonics group holds first conference

Photonics Spectra
Dec 2013
The focus of the first statewide Arkansas Photonics Industry Alliance conference, held this fall in Little Rock, was economic development through the growth and strengthening of the state’s 13 photonics companies. Industry representatives, members of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and other state officials attended. The newly formed coalition will help publicly identify the 13 manufacturers and their academic peers as a single industry for the first time.

Arkansas Conference
Photo courtesy of APIA.

Paul McManamon (standing, left), former SPIE president and co-chairman of the National Academy of Sciences study on optics and photonics, emphasized the importance of photonics to the US economy during his keynote address.

The photonics industry employs more than 500 people throughout the state, delivers more than $27 million in wages and contributes more than $77 million of economic impact, the alliance said. Arkansas-based photonics companies include AGL Lasers, BEI Precision Systems & Space, InvoTek, LaCroix Optical, LaserTools, Power Technology and Space Photonics.

The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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