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Posted on Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 3:10 p.m.

Scio Township-based Arbor Photonics to get $150K federal grant for laser project

By Ryan J. Stanton

Scio Township-based Arbor Photonics Inc. is the recipient of a $149,855 federal grant for a fiber laser project, U.S. Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow announced today.

The two lawmakers said Arbor Photonics, 251 Jackson Plaza, and three other Michigan small businesses will receive U.S. Department of Energy funding for high-tech projects under the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs.

The other three recipients are NamesforLife LLC in East Lansing, Niowave Inc. in Lansing, and RHK Technology Inc. in Troy. The companies are part of 223 grant recipients selected from more than 2,500 applicants from across the nation.

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Debbie Stabenow

“Creating an environment that allows Michigan small businesses like these to innovate and grow must be top priority,” Stabenow said in a statement.

The Arbor Photonics project is described as a "novel laser system that makes compact, tabletop-sized accelerators more realistic, and can dramatically increase the rate of acceleration possible with traditional high energy particle accelerators without dramatic increases in machine dimensions."

Arbor Photonics, founded in 2007, develops high-powered fiber lasers that feature "an unmatched combination of beam quality and optical power," according to its web site.

Levin and Stabenow said the grants announced today are under Phase I of a process in which each company will work to determine the feasibility of its concept. After completion, each grantee will be eligible to compete in fiscal year 2012 for Phase II funding, which is the principal research and development phase of the programs.

The Senate will resume consideration in May of a measure to reauthorize and expand the two high-tech grant programs. Without Senate action, Levin and Stabenow said the initiatives will be suspended at the end of next month and future grants will cease.

The two lawmakers support continuing the grants, which are designed to increase the commercialization of federally funded research and development by small businesses.

According to the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, small businesses produce more than 13 times the number of patents than large businesses and universities, and they employ nearly 40 percent of America’s scientists and engineers.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's e-mail newsletters.


Tom Joad

Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 9:52 p.m.

$150k doesn't go very far in the scientific biz...