Today It Is All About Clusters!
A cluster is a group of co-located businesses sharing a geographic center and providing products and services in a specific industry sector, energized by a local network of suppliers, collaborative research facilities, public/private financial sources, supportive governmental agencies, and community institutions.
Monroe County’s industry clusters include: Photonics, Precision Manufacturing, MIS/IT Business Services, Telecommunications, and Biotechnology/Pharmaceutical/Medical Research. Our key industries operate as synergistic partnerships sharing technical expertise as well as financial and distribution advantages. With relationships you can build on ... support you can count on ... energy you can tap into.
Few sectors are growing and evolving as rapidly as our Photonics cluster, which has become integral to progress in a range of imaging and non-imaging industries. Photonics research affects computing, data transmission technologies, printing, medical diagnostics, multimedia, data storage, laser processing, spectroscopic analysis, and other technologies.
Today Eastman Kodak, Xerox and Bausch and Lomb are joined by Heidelberg Digital, internationally recognized for color offset and digital printing solutions. Each of these companies, founded on traditional technologies in the past century, is successfully making the transition to new business models based on 21st century technologies.
This cluster is characterized by a focus on advanced manufacturing technologies and requires a mix of blue collar workers, professional engineers, scientists, and researchers with access to universities that focus on R&D. Precision Manufacturing draws strength from other nearby clusters, especially the MIS/IT, Photonics, and Telecommunications clusters.
That’s why Rochester’s Precision Manufacturing cluster is so strong and vital. Our mix of world-class educational institutions and research facilities, plus a large pool of skilled workers with technical competencies, provide everything the Precision Manufacturing cluster needs to grow. Synergies develop naturally with other clusters. And Rochester’s quality of life makes it easier to retain qualified manufacturing personnel.
MIS/IT Business Services
Mobile computing, wireless communications, web applications, electronic commerce, multimedia capabilities—if you don't need them now, it won't be long before you do. That means the MIS/IT cluster’s potential for continued growth is very high and business opportunities are virtually unlimited.
Rochester’s knowledge-intensive MIS/IT cluster is home to a wide range of companies: rapid-growth industries, small businesses, and start-ups. Pay scales are higher than average in this cluster and, because advancing technologies drive automation in every cluster, MIS/IT equipment and expertise are becoming integral to all other sectors.
The MIS/IT cluster includes computer and office equipment, electronics, instruments, and business services. It is supported in the Rochester area by an extensive concentration of public and private research centers focused on computers, electronics, and related fields.
While phone companies nationwide have cut thousands of jobs, Rochester’s telecom ranks have grown with new management, research, and sales jobs. Rochester has far outpaced the nation, as well as New York State (including New York City), in telecom payroll growth. Today there are 75 telecom companies in the Rochester area with a total annual payroll approaching $250 million—an average of over $62,000 per year per employee.
Intense capital investment, an extraordinary telecom infrastructure, and a skilled labor force fed by world-class engineering institutions have made Rochester home to a powerful telecommunications cluster.
Way back in 1917, Kodak founder George Eastman gave a gift to the city’s children—The Rochester Dental Dispensary—to provide dental care for families who couldn't afford it. This unique institution became the cornerstone for healthcare and medical research in Rochester.
Today in Rochester, the number of companies and institutions doing research, and the range and quality of projects, is truly mind-boggling.
A local example
The University of Rochester Medical Center has long been recognized as one of the country’s finest medical schools. The University’s Strong Memorial Hospital is renowned as a teaching hospital of the first order. Now The Aab Institute of Biomedical Sciences is the centerpiece of a 10-year, $400 million strategic plan to expand the Medical Center’s research programs in the basic sciences. Headquartered in a new, 240,000 square foot research building on the campus of the Medical Center, The Aab Institute enhances the University’s already strong biomedical research program, providing an environment that fosters outstanding interdisciplinary research.
World-class medical research and manufacturing takes place at Johnson & Johnson, Celltech Pharmaceuticals, Wyeth Lederle, Lederle-Praxis Biologicals, and smaller firms such as LSI Solutions. Rochester is a petri dish for bio-startups and spinoffs. Enterprises such as R-Tech, Virtuscopics, the Center for Future Health, and others so new we can't even list them, are transforming the industry—and our world—every day.
Right now, Rochester researchers are developing:
- dozens of non-invasive surgery patents
- revolutionary MRI scan automation
- highly-sophisticated imaging techniques
- full-body scans that map and track medical conditions over time
- vaccines against cancers
- leading-edge combinatorial chemistry techniques