ALBANY, N.Y. — The New York Center for Research, Economic Advancement, Technology, Engineering, and Science (NY CREATES) announced that Dr. John Bowers, AIM Photonics’ deputy CEO and distinguished professor at the University of California Santa Barbara, will serve as acting executive director, beginning February 1. Bowers will assume the interim role after the current CEO Dr. Michael J. Cumbo leaves his position at the end of this month to join Artemis Capital Partners. A nationwide search for a new CEO will commence next week.

Cumbo will continue his involvement with AIM, serving as a special advisor to the AIM leadership team.

“We thank Michael for his work leading AIM Photonics in 2020, and the business-like approach he established for the institute’s management and operations will have a lasting, positive impact,” said Doug Grose, president, NY CREATES. “In Dr. Bowers, we could not ask for a better interim leader and we have an experienced and highly capable team. Together, this team will continue to make significant contributions to advance the integrated photonics industry for years to come.”

“It was a privilege to lead AIM Photonics during the past seven months,” said Cumbo. “I am even more impressed today with the capabilities and dedication of this team than I was when I first joined it. My decision to step down as the CEO is driven entirely by personal factors. I remain convinced of the vital importance of AIM’s mission to advance integrated photonic circuit manufacturing technology in the United States, and I look forward to continuing to be involved in an advisory capacity.”

During this transition, Bowers — a member of AIM Photonics’ leadership since the institution’s inception — will serve as acting executive director; and Grose will oversee day-to-day operations, financial, and administrative functions with the assistance of key AIM and NY CREATES staff.

“AIM Photonics is beginning to have a significant impact on the world of integrated photonics, but it is only the beginning and Michael’s leadership has AIM well-positioned to accomplish much more in the years to come,” said Bowers. “While this is certainly a loss, it has been pleasure to have an individual of Mike’s qualifications leading the organization.”

A vital component of NY CREATES is AIM Photonics — the Albany and Rochester-based national manufacturing institute with more than 126 consortium members, including those focused on data communications, sensors, quantum and neuromorphic computing. AIM featured services include the industry leading Process Design Kit (PDK), Multi Project Wafer (MPW), and the Test, Assembly and Packaging (TAP) facility in Rochester, New York. AIM’s comprehensive set of silicon Photonic Integrated Circuit (PIC) devices are enabling the implementation of next-generation products.

NY CREATES recently announced it would receive $19 million in research program awards for advanced integrated photonics under The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Lasers for Universal Microscale Optical Systems (LUMOS) program. The LUMOS program will enable efficient on-chip optical gain in highly capable integrated photonics platforms. The DARPA contract will support a team of academic, industrial, and government partners, led by AIM Photonics, and continues the growth and expansion of this critical Department of Defense funded manufacturing institute. For more information, visit