The North American components business of Arrow Electronics Inc., a Melville, N.Y., provider of electronic components and computer products, has signed an agreement with Designspring Inc., a Westport, Conn., design service firm specializing in LED design, extending the Arrow Consulting Engineering Services (ACES) program to include services to the lighting industry. ACES provides customers with access to third-party engineering design service companies to provide them with LED products, in-house applications support, system integration and services. Arrow recently formed a new lighting group -- comprised of regional lighting specialists, lighting application engineers and inside sales representatives -- to support manufacturers of products using high-brightness LEDS. Arrow also announced that Richard S. Hill has joined its board. Hill, who will also serve on the board's audit and corporate governance committees, is CEO and chairman of Novellus Systems Inc. . . . Celia Merzbacher, executive director of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and acting assistant director for technology with the Office of Science and Technology Policy, will visit Cleveland, Ohio-based Keithley Instruments Inc., a maker of measurement products including those used in nanotechnology measurement applications, on March 2. Merzbacher will visit Keithley as a representative of nanotechnology companies and organizations based in Northeast Ohio; she will be in Cleveland to speak at a Nano-Network event sponsored by NorTech, a Northeast Ohio-based technology-based economic development organization, at 6 p.m. at the Ohio Aerospace Institute, where she will describe the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) and how it fits into the US science and technology agenda. She will also discuss NNI facilities and how Ohio nanotechnology companies and institutions can take advantage of them. . . . Paul Jacobs, vice president of research and development for precision laser drilling and marketing company Laser Fare Inc. of Smithfield, R.I., will be guest speaker at the next meeting of the Northeast Chapter of the Laser Institute of America (LIA), to be held March 15 at the Sheraton Tara hotel in Nashua, N.H. Laser Fare was awarded a USAF Phase I SBIR program in 2002 for precision laser drilling of 170-µm-diameter holes and was subsequently awarded a Phase II SBIR program in 2003. Jacobs will describe concepts utilized during this program and will provide data and photomicrographs of the resulting trepanned holes. LIA will also sponsor an optional plant tour at PhotoMachining Inc., located a few miles away in Pelham, N.H., that afternoon. The free tour will include stops at several laser materials processing and micromachining stations. Sign-up for the tour (deadline March 10) is mandatory; no walk-ins will be allowed. For more information, visit: www.laserinstitute.org. The first meeting of LIA's Northeast chapter, held Nov. 30 in Sturbridge, Mass., was kicked off by LIA Executive Director Peter Baker; 70 attended. . . . Tropic Networks of Ottawa, Canada, has signed a two-year agreement to be a supplier of ultrafast variable optical attenuator (VOA) arrays from Kotura Inc., a Monterey Park, Calif., maker of silicon photonics products and CMOS optical components.