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Mi-Light Launches Photonics Cluster Alliance In Michigan

A recent MEDC grant is helping Mi-Light formalise an industry development group
 Mi-Light, a newly-established alliance for Michigan’s photonics industry, officially launched an organisation with its first Annual Meeting on April 10th, 2013 that included the election and installation of its inaugural board of directors.

The Annual Meeting was preceded by a networking event attended by guests and supporters of Mi-Light including Michael Finney, CEO of MEDC.

In 2012, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) awarded Mi-Light $89,000 to kick-off activities supporting and promoting the growth of the State’s photonics industry cluster. Leaders from Michigan photonics companies, many of which are in Washtenaw County, began meeting in 2008 to collaborate on developing Michigan’s photonics industry.

“We appreciate the foresight of the MEDC and the State in recognising the important role that Michigan has to play in the global and rapidly-expanding photonics industry," says Mi-Light Chair Michelle Stock. “Industry and educational organisations from across the entire state are participating in Mi-light initiatives that will benefit many dimensions of the state economy."

Mi-Light will use the MEDC funding to promote Michigan’s industry and research assets in photonics to a global audience in order to attract companies, talent and new business.

Other aims are to increase awareness of Michigan’s breadth and depth of photonics capabilities and assets and develop photonics education and training programs in Michigan to increase the availability of skilled technical personnel at all levels.

Finally, the move should stimulate collaboration among its members and with outside organisations.

Photonics involves innovative applications of lasers, optics, fibre-optics, and electro-optical devices in numerous and diverse fields of technology. Photonics is an enabling technology for nearly every other high-tech industry including telecommunications, controls, energy, defence, manufacturing, research and medicine.

Mi-Light’s new board members include: Michelle Stock (mlstock consulting), Chair; David Shindell (Data Optics), Vice-Chair and Acting Treasurer; Anca Sala (Baker College), Secretary; Bodo Ehlers (Rigaku); Sheila Jensen (Visotek); Michael Klos (IPG Photonics); and Richard Kurtz (Advanced Photonix, Inc).

About Mi-Light: Mi-Light is a non-profit organisation serving Michigan’s photonics industry by bringing together professionals from companies, academia and organizations to mutually support and promote photonics-related business.

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