Skip to content

Optics Valley

Where optics, photonics and astronomy connect and grow.

Welcome to Optics Valley

Arizona is home to world-class businesses and scientific and educational institutions with decades of innovation and leadership in optics, photonics and astronomy. Optics Valley is the industry cluster that helps its members thrive through business acceleration, workforce development, startup support, and connections to local and worldwide opportunities. Optics Valley is a committee of the Arizona Technology Council.

Our mission is to catalyze, convene and connect optics, photonics, astronomy and the supporting business interests throughout Arizona.


Optics Valley Resource Directory

Search the Optics Valley Resource Directory to connect with Arizona’s leading suppliers of optics and photonics hardware, software, and services. The world-class services and technologies of these companies span from coatings and films to opto-mechanical and fabrication solutions to lasers and fiber optics – and much more.


Optics Valley Events

Arizona Photonics Days

The annual Arizona Photonics Days conference brings together Arizona optics companies, our partners from the Global Photonics Alliance and international industry leaders for three days of keynote presentations, technical discussions and business-to-business meetings. It is scheduled in January for our international participants for efficient travel to Arizona and to California for SPIE’s annual Photonics West event and so that attendees can enjoy Tucson’s warm weather. View past conference proceedingsAPD 2024, APD 2023APD 2022APD 2021

Optics Valley Technical Series

The Optics Valley Technical Series is a frequent webinar series that discusses innovation, technologies and trends in the optics, photonics and astronomy sectors. Watch the most recent Technical Series. Interested in being a guest speaker? The Technical Series is an opportunity to share your expertise and successes with a rapidly growing Optics Valley community. Complete the form below, and the Optics Valley Committee Chairs will contact you.

Optics Valley Resources

Resource Directory

Search the Optics Valley Resource Directory to connect with Arizona’s leading suppliers of optics and photonics hardware, software, and services.


Subscribe to FOCUS

Optics Valley FOCUS is a monthly newsletter with news and events for the optics, photonics and astronomy sectors in Arizona.


$4B Economic Impact

Optics, photonics, and astronomy have a $4 billion economic impact in AZ. Read this White Paper about why you should start, relocate or expand your optics business here.


Partners and Alliances

Connect with Global Opportunities

Optics Valley connects members to local and worldwide opportunities through our alliances and collaborations with leading organizations.

Committee Leadership

Optics Valley Chair: John Dennis, President, Strategy1

Throughout his career, John has fulfilled objectives to drive company growth and profitability. Since moving to Tucson in 2008, he has been engaged in economic development and organizational improvement in the technology and entrepreneurial communities. His consulting company, Strategy1, provides services to enhance the strategic alignment of people, plans and processes.  Successful client assignments range from technology start-up companies to major corporations and educational institutions.

Optics Valley Co-Chair: Katie Schwertz, Senior Manager of Optical Assemblies and Technology, Edmund Optics

Katie is a dedicated advocate for optics and photonics both locally and globally.  She is an optics alumna of both the University of Rochester and the University of Arizona, has published two technical books, and has 15 years of engineering experience in Arizona. Katie has served on the Board of directors for SPIE and excels at forging connections and professional networking. She is passionate about advancing local industry and developing external collaborations.

Arizona Optics Initiative

The world’s first optics industry cluster formed in Tucson in 1992. In 2017, Optics Valley became the new generation of the industry cluster. In 2019, Strategy1 was awarded a Small Business Administration (SBA) contract to grow the optics industry throughout Arizona. The Arizona Optics Initiative (AOI), led by Strategy1, is the working program that fulfills the SBA contract. AOI works with all optics companies in Arizona with the Optics Valley Committee as its primary communication channel.


Contact Optics Valley

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.