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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 Technologies

Join us as the Optics Valley Committee of the Arizona Technology Council hosts our Global Photonics Alliance partners for two days of technical discussions and business-to-business meetings:

  • Connect and Network with your global peers in the quiet, intimate environment of Tucson, Arizona.
  • Learn about the amazing optics technologies from Optics Valley companies and the University of Arizona College of Optical Sciences (OSC), as well as those from our Global Photonics Alliance attendees.
  • Discuss global optics issues with the ability to formulate coordinated positions and ideas.

Conference Chairman: Jack Schumann

Agenda – subject to change

Wednesday, January 24thCourtyard by Marriott Williams Centre

4:00 – Optence/Optics Valley Member Workshop
6:00 – Welcome Reception, Jonathan Rothschild, Mayor, City of Tucson

Thursday, January 25thUA Tech Parks Conference Center

9:00-12:00 – Plenary Session – Welcome and Company Presentations

9:00 – Welcome

  • Optics Valley, John Dennis, Chair
  • Arizona Technology Council, Steven Zylstra, President & CEO
  • UA Tech Parks, Bruce Wright, Associate Vice President

9:30 – Company Presentations, B2B meetings as required

10:15-10:30 – Break

10:30-12:00 – Company Presentations Continue, B2B meetings as required

12:00-1:15 – Lunch

  • SPIE (TBD)
  • Commercial Real Estate in Arizona, Michael Coretz, Broker, Commercial Real Estate Group

1:15-5:00 – Plenary Session  – Technology and Business Presentations

1:15 – Biomedical Optics, Jennifer K. Barton, PhD, Director, BIO5 Institute

1:45 – European Manufacturing Pilot Lines for Photonic Devices, , Jose Pozo, PhD, EPIC, Director of Technology and Innovation       

2:00 – OptecNet and Photonics in Germany, Dr. Frank Lerch, Managing Director, Optec-Berlin-Brandenburg (OpTecBB) e.V.

2:15 – ISO 10110 Drawing Standards, Mike Mandina, President, Optimax Systems, Inc.

2:30 – Freeform Optics, Anke Mank, International Coordinator, OptoNet e.V. Thüringen

3:00 – Solar Zone Introduction, UA Tech Parks, Bruce Wright, Associate Vice President

3:15 – Darling Geomatics, Mary Darling, M.S., J.D., CEO & Principal Owner

3:30-3:45 – Break

3:45 – Depart for Solar Zone

4:00 – UAV Demonstration

4:45 – Tour of Solar Zone

5:15 – Depart for Dinner

6:00 – Dinner – Pinnacle Peak

Friday, January 26th – University of Arizona, College of Optical Sciences

9:00-12:00 – Plenary Session – Welcome and Company Presentations

9:00 – Welcome

  • UA College of Optical Sciences, Thomas L. Koch, PhD, Dean
  • UA Research, Discovery, and Innovation, Stephen Fleming, VP Strategic Business Initiatives
  • UA Tech Launch Arizona, David N. Allen, PhD, Vice President

9:30 – AIM Photonics – Thomas L. Koch, PhD, Chairman of AIM Photonics Technical Review Board

10:00-10:15 – Break

10:15-12:00 – Company Presentations Continue, B2B meetings as required

12:00-1:30 – Lunch

  • Juan Ciscomani, Senior Advisor to the Governor of Arizona
  • Anke Mank, Global Photonics Alliance

1:30 – Tour of UA Richard F. Caris Mirror Laboratory (formerly Steward Observatory Mirror Lab)

2:30 – UA College of Optical Sciences Open Labs, B2B meetings as required

5:00 – Farewell Reception – UA College of Optical Sciences, Meinel Building 8th Floor

Conference Fee:         
$200.00 – covering participation, materials, welcome reception, meals, local group transportation.
Click here to register for the Conference

Conference Hotel:      
Courtyard by Marriott Williams Centre, 201 S Williams Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85711.
$129 USD per night.
Click here to register for the Hotel

Sponsor Levels
Gold Event Sponsor               $5,000 
Silver Activity Sponsor            $2,000 
Bronze Sponsor                      $1,000

We gratefully acknowledge the support of our sponsors:




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

John Dennis 

Jack Schumann 

AZTC Staff Liaison: Jeff Sales, Executive Director, S. Arizona Regional Office, For additional information, Jeff can be reached directly at 520.891.5858.