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Optics Valley


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Background: Since 1992, the Arizona optics community has been represented by the Arizona Optics industry Association (AOIA).  At the end of December 2016, AOIA was dissolved as an independent organization and its work continues as Optics Valley within the Arizona Technology Council (AZTC). 

Mission: The mission of Optics Valley is to catalyze, convene and connect optics, photonics, astronomy, and supporting business interests throughout Arizona.

Optics Valley leadership conducts monthly meetings composed of optics CEOs, academic representatives, and other key stakeholders involved in the optics, photonics, and astronomy sectors throughout the state of Arizona.  The meetings are action-oriented and designed for planning future events, addressing key issues within the optics sector, and serving as an opportunity for business networking.manufacturing-3

Vision: In 2020, with over 150 members throughout the State of Arizona, Optics Valley is one of the leading global clusters for optics, photonics and astronomy. We maintain worldwide strategic collaborations and key partnerships including SPIE and OSA. We provide cutting-edge professional development, world-class education, strategic business networking, and broad support for our members to thrive and lead in global markets.P1020073

Value Proposition:  Arizona’s Optics Valley is home to world-class institutions and businesses in science, education, engineering and manufacturing in the fields of Optics, Photonics and Astronomy.  The sector is also a key enabler for many important industries, including aerospace and defense, automotive, microelectronics, medical instrumentation, nanotechnology and advanced manufacturing.  The state’s related economic impact is reported to be over $3 Billion annually.  The focus of Optics Valley is to provide our members with B2B networking, partnership and education opportunities, as well as industry support for marketing, public policy and international trade. The importance of international trade cannot be overemphasized; while we are focused on Arizona businesses, our trade and science partners and customers are worldwide.

NanoCam Sq Dynamic Profiler on Optic Courtesy Optical Surface Technologies2017 Objectives:


  • 40 Optics Valley members by year end

Educational Events:

  • 1 Optics hosted Lunch & Learm per quarter
  • 2 Optics hosted After5 Tech Mixers annually
  • 2 Optics hosted events in Phoenix
  • Participation in Aerospace, Aviation, Manufacturing, and Defense Requirements Conference in June
  • Participation in the Southern Arizona Tech +  Business Expo in October


  • Participate in Photonics West: Have all 31 Arizona exhibitors display the Optics Valley logo; participate in international cluster events
  • Participate in Laser World of Photonics in Munich as Arizona cluster
  • Participate in SPIE Conference in San Diego in August
  • Prepare our Optics Valley cluster for Photonics West 2018
  • Participate in the Global Alliance of international clusters
  • Formalize the relationship between Optics Valley and UA Tech Parks

     Public000-volume-1 Policy:

  • Protect Arizona’s “Dark Skies” by limiting use of electronic billboards
  • Lead development of statewide industry standards for outdoor lighting
  • Enhance funding for university led optics R&D
  • Support national integrated photonics manufacturing program (AIM-Photonics)
  • Promote commerce friendly export regulations

For additional information about Optics Valley, please click on the email links below for:

John Dennis 

Jack Schumann 

AZTC Staff Liaison: Alex Rodriguez, Vice President, Southern Arizona,  For additional information, Alex can be reached directly at 520.275.0519.