Slaughter Announces DoD Award for Rochester-based Lumetrics to Modernize Bullet Proof Glass for U.S. Troops
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-25) today announced that Rochester-based photonics manufacturer Lumetrics, Inc. has been awarded $100,000 in federal funding through the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR). This award enables Lumetrics to begin the first phase in its project to improve and modernize the manufacturing of transparent bullet proof glass for the men and women in uniform. Slaughter pushed the Department of the Army to award this competitive funding.
“I’m proud that Rochester’s own Lumetrics is receiving this federal award to improve bullet proof glass for our men and women serving in uniform around the globe. I have worked for many years to improve the safety of our body armor, and am proud to have brought more than 16,000 pieces of unsafe armor back from the front lines. This award for our local manufacturer will ensure that Rochester continues to play a key role in protecting our servicemembers by manufacturing the next generation armor for our troops,” said Slaughter.
“I want to thank Congresswoman Slaughter for her continued leadership on this important issue. I am proud of Lumetrics’ leading role in innovative manufacturing that protects our men and women in uniform. This award will allow us to continue our work helping the Department of Defense keep our servicemembers safe,” said John Hart, CEO of Lumetrics.
“This funding from the Department of Defense will help our region continue to lead the way in innovative manufacturing that is having an impact around the globe. I have proudly worked with Congresswoman Slaughter for years to position our community as a leader in groundbreaking fields like optics and photonics, and this award is a continuation of our community’s important progress,” said Tom Battley, Executive Director of Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster & New York Photonics.
In March, Slaughter pushed the Department of the Army to award Lumetrics this competitive award, highlighting its leadership in developing state of the art photonics-based measurement systems that help optics manufacturers reduce production times while improving quality. Her letter is available online here.
This award will allow Lumetrics to help the DoD achieve its goal of modernizing current transparent vehicle armor by using new technologies to increase quality, develop lighter armor, and provide the department with the technical assistance it needs to continue developing additional solutions. Transparent armor, sometimes referred to as "bullet-proof glass", is comprised of many layers of glass and plastic. These layers must be non-destructively measured for quality control and layer identification purposes.
This system will help make transparent armor manufacturing cheaper and ensure our military receive the highest quality protection for their vehicles and aircraft.This collaboration will help ensure members of the Armed Forces have the best possible equipment before they are sent in harm’s way.
This is just the latest effort in Slaughter’s long record of protecting our troops. In 2009, she successfully persuaded the Department of Defense to recall 16,000 pieces of body armor and replace them with safer armor to protect our troops in harm's way. In 2011, Slaughter secured language improving the prevention and prosecution of sexual assault in the military.
Slaughter also led the effort to bring a photonics institute to Rochester. More than four years ago, Slaughter began organizing local stakeholders at meetings in Rochester and in Washington, DC, and brought federal leaders to Monroe County to meet with our photonics manufacturers. She then led a successful multi-year national campaign to convince the Obama Administration to commit to a photonics-focused institute for manufacturing. After the Rochester-led national consortium was chosen as one of three finalists for the institute, Slaughter successfully pushed Governor Cuomo to back the consortium with a significant state investment. In July of 2015, Rep. Slaughter joined Vice President Joseph R. Biden to announce that Rochester had won the competition to house a national photonics hub.