Lab for Education and Application Prototypes (LEAP) MA Network
Teach integrated photonics manufacturing practice
Provide small medium enterprise (SME) / technician training and certification
Allow start-up and SME engagement in tool/process/application upgrades
Support the AIM MPW and TAP hubs.
IKIM launched its premiere Lab for Education & Application Prototypes (LEAP) on MIT's campus in the spring of 2017, a project supported by a $1 million grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The grant was provided through the Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative, or M2I2, a state program that aims to build on investments from the Manufacturing USA, a network that includes AIM Photonics.
In total, Massachusetts has invested over $11.3 million to establish a network of LEAPs across the state, supported by a broad coalition that includes AIM Photonics, the MassTech Collaborative (home of the M2I2 program), several community colleges and universities, industry, and Massachusetts public officials.
In addition to the LEAP at IKIM, the other facilities established include:
➢ In January 2018, Massachusetts announced the second LEAP in Central Massachusetts, a collaborative project between Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and Quinsigamond Community College funded by a $4 million M2I2 grant;
➢ Stonehill College and Bridgewater State University became the third and fourth LEAPs in the state, when they received a $3.8 million M2I2 grant for the Southeastern Massachusetts (SEMA) LEAP project in October 2019.
➢ The fifth and most recent LEAP was announced in western Massachusetts in October 2020, a partnership between Convergent Photonics in Chicopee, Mass., and Western New England University in Springfield, the recipients of a $2.5 million state grant.
This network of cutting-edge facilities will enable: (1) the fabrication of prototypes and initial proof of manufacturing; and (2) the creation of new high-tech integrated photonics manufacturing jobs.
Western New England University
WPI / Quinsigamond Community College
Bridgewater State University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Larger-scale manufacturing will take place in AIM Photonics' fabrication facility located at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Albany and its Test and Packaging (TAP) facility at the University of Rochester.
To learn more about MIT’s LEAP and the LEAP network, or applying to become a Massachusetts LEAP site, please contact Anu Agarwal. For questions on the M2I2 grant program, contact Farhad Vazehgoo, Director of Advanced Technology Programs & Workforce Development at the MassTech Collaborative.