Congresswoman tours Avon, CT facility to see local impact of photonics research and development
Avon, Connecticut, December 16, 2014 - Today, Representative Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) toured OFS’ Specialty Photonics facility in Avon, CT, to see first-hand the impact of photonics on the community, state and the nation. During the site visit, she met with employees and business leaders to discuss the benefits of photonics and the role that OFS is playing in solving the challenges of a modern world by harnessing the power of light.
“Many people take for granted the modern-day technologies made possible largely by photonics,” said Congresswoman Esty, a member of the U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee’s Research and Technology Subcommittee. “From computers to smart phones, photonics are a critical part of our daily life. OFS is on the cutting edge of photonics research, and its Avon facility supports good-paying jobs right here in central and northwest Connecticut. It was rewarding to see first-hand the ways in which OFS and its talented workforce are using photonics to improve the way we live and work. I’m committed to continuing to do all I can in Congress as a member of the Research and Technology Subcommittee to support basic research and development, which is critical for companies like OFS in Connecticut and for our global competitiveness.”
OFS Specialty Photonics facility in Avon employs 140 people and sources materials in the northeast region, while exporting to customers across the globe. The site has been in operation in the Farmington River Valley for more than 30 years and is a pioneer in the development and manufacture of optical fiber solutions for a host of industries. Among other areas of specialty, OFS utilizes photonics technology to help its customers improve the reach and capacity of telecommunications systems; enable the use of lasers in the surgical suite; provide real-time data to optimize oil field production; and develop sensors to monitor the health of man-made structures and the human body.
“It was a privilege to host Congresswoman Esty and demonstrate to her OFS’ commitment to improving our everyday lives through photonics enabled technology,” stated Dr. Timothy F. Murray, CEO and Chairman of OFS. “Inclusion of optics and photonics in the recently passed Revitalizing American Manufacturing and Innovation (RAMI) Act send a strong signal from Congress that investing in this field is critical to the American workforce and economy. We appreciate the work that Rep. Esty has done on behalf of our business and our district, and we look forward to continuing to work with her and others in Congress to bridge the gap between basic research and product development to ensure U.S. leadership in photonics.”
Historically, the United States has been the world leader in deploying photonics research to power cutting-edge technologies, but global competition has put our leadership position at risk, causing a substantial loss of global market share to overseas competitors as well as thousands of U.S. jobs. Through the National Photonics Initiative (NPI), OFS is working to raise awareness about photonics and unite industry, academia and government experts to identify and advance areas of photonics critical to maintaining U.S. competitiveness and national security: advanced manufacturing, communication and information technology, defense and national security, energy, and health and medicine. U.S. investment in these photonics-driven fields will create jobs and grow our economy, protect and improve the lives of our people, and position the United States as a global technology leader.
“Educating the public about photonics is key to the future of companies such as OFS and our country,” added Murray. “It was a pleasure to host Congresswoman Esty, and we welcome the opportunity to showcase our work and technology to others both locally and in Washington, DC.”
OFS is a world-leading designer, manufacturer and provider of optical fiber, optical fiber cable, connectivity, FTTx and specialty photonics solutions. Our marketing, sales, manufacturing and research teams provide forward-looking, innovative products and solutions in areas including Telecommunications, Medicine, Industrial Automation, Sensing, Government, Aerospace and Defense applications. We provide reliable, cost effective optical solutions to enable our customers to meet the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s digital and energy consumers and businesses.
OFS’ corporate lineage dates back to 1876 and includes technology powerhouses such as AT&T and Lucent Technologies. Today, OFS is owned by Furukawa Electric, a multi-billion dollar global leader in optical communications.