If you’re considering starting a business focused around optics or photonics technology in Montana, we have a wealth of resources available to you, including a strong peer network that can provide mentorship and collaboration opportunities, and world-class tech transfer organizations.
As of 2012, there were 38 optics (also referred to as photonics) firms in Montana - with 28 of those companies located in or around Bozeman. In fact, southwest Montana has the highest per capita concentration of optics and photonics companies and research institutions in the United States. In 2013, the Montana Photonics Industry Alliance was created with the mission of serving as a hub for Montana’s optics and photonics companies, entrepreneurs, laboratories, and universities to commercialize, grow and sustain globally leading organizations that create high quality jobs and economic opportunity in Montana.
Montana’s optics industry has greatly benefited from the advanced research capabilities and alliances in our university system. The Optical Technology Center (OpTeC) at Montana State University was formed in 1995 as a multidisciplinary center that creates opportunities for students, faculty, and industry partners to discover new applications for optical technology. The Office of Technology Transfer at the University of Montana and the Technology Transfer Office at Montana State University have incredibly diverse optics technology applications for Montana entrepreneurs and startups to license. The Montana optics industry has also greatly benefitted from the presence of TechLink, another MSU entity that helps the Department of Defense to establish licensing and other technology transfer agreements with US industry. All of these entities have knowledgeable available to work closely with you during every step of starting an optics venture in Montana.