Photonics Companies in Arkansas Form Alliance

Photonics Companies in Arkansas Form Alliance

By Conrad Holton                                                 
Editor in Chief, Laser Focus World                    


Little Rock, AR – TheArkansas Photonics Industry Alliance held its first statewide conference on September 25, with the primary focus on economic development through growing and strengthening the state’s 13 photonics companies.

The photonics industry in Arkansas employs over 500 people, generates over $27 million in wages, and contributes over $77 million of economic impact. The alliance will help publicly identify the 13 manufactures and their academic peers as a single industry for the first time. The meeting was attended by 25 people, including industry representatives, members of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, and other state officials.

Paul McManamon, former SPIE President and co-chairman of the National Academy of Sciences study Harnessing Light 2, was the keynote speaker. He emphasized the importance of photonics nationally and discussed the National Photonics Initiative in depth. Following the meeting, McManamon noted, “There seemed to be strong interest in developing the appropriate workforce education programs in Arkansas, especially at the 2-year technician level. I doubt most states would have received this level of interest across the various economic development agencies.”

The meeting adjoined with the announcement of 4 financial contributions to support the Alliance. For more information, contact Walter Burgess, vice president of Power Technology:


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