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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.

Optics Valley – 2018 Objectives 


  • Increase to 90 members and engage with Phoenix, Life Sciences, and Solar

Educational Events

  • Host Arizona Photonics Days 2018 with at least 20 participants from Global Photonics Alliance and plan for the 2019 event with at least 30 Global Photonics Alliance participants
  • Hold One Lunch & Learn and one After5 per quarter
  • Hold two events in Phoenix
  • Participate in Arizona Technology Council events as appropriate

Trade Shows

  • SPIE Photonics West 2018 with 18 in Optics Valley Pavilion
  • Plan for SPIE Photonics West 2019 with 25 in Optics Valley Pavilion
  • Provide leadership to grow Global Photonics Alliance
  • Coordinate with Arizona Commerce Authority to participate in regional conferences as appropriate
  • Plan for Laser Munich 2019

Public Policy

  • Support Arizona committee for statewide outdoor lighting standards
  • Support SPIE & OSA initiatives for commerce friendly export regulations

Links to our partners:

University of Arizona Tech Parks

University of Arizona College of Optical Sciences

American Precision Optics Manufacturers Association (APOMA)

The Optical Society (OSA)


GPA – link coming soon

AIM Photonics

NPI Photonics


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.