The future of optics is redefined daily with engineering and software developed in Arizona. Optics technology crosses industry lines, and is critical to many of Arizona’s manufacturing industries. From low-cost lenses in children’s toys to new display technologies, optical innovations for entertainment enhance our lives. Advanced and conventional optical technologies for precision missile guidance systems are a part of Arizona’s defense industry. Medical imaging and laser surgery also are made possible with optics designed and manufactured in Arizona.
There were 191 companies in optics and photonics related industries in 2014 in Arizona. These companies employed 4,765 Arizonans in 2014, 27 percent more than in 2005, and paid average annual wages of approximately $61,682. Optics/Photonics companies in Arizona include: Zygo Corporation, Edmund Industrial Optics, Photon Engineering, Lincoln Laser Co., and L3 Communications Corp.
The University of Arizona is home to the College of Optical Sciences, one of the premier educational and research institutions in the world for optics and photonics. Specialty research programs in the College of Optical Sciences provide students with cutting-edge application in fields such as optical engineering, optical physics, photonics, and image science.
The Arizona Optics Industry Association (AOIA) is a widely recognized industry organization with more than 300 members. The AOIA has successfully helped attract optics-related companies including manufacturing, prototype development, consulting services, software development and hardware manufacturing firms. Members include companies directly involved in Optics/Photonics as well as companies in industries that use Optics/Photonics. Members include industry leaders such as Amkor Technology, General Dynamics, M3 Engineering and Technology, and Raytheon.