Key Recommendations & Needs

Innovating the Future

Over 100 leaders from the optics and photonics community representing industry, academia and government worked together to develop recommendations to help guide US funding and investment in five key photonics-driven fields, positioning the nation as a leader in next-generation photonics technologies.

New opportunities in these fields offer the potential for great societal impact in the next few decades - including keeping our nation safer and capturing new markets that will support job creation. In order to capitalize on these opportunities, regain global leadership and economic prosperity, and retain a workforce ready to meet the challenges of tomorrow, the NPI recommends that the United States government:

  • Drive funding and investment in areas of photonics critical to maintaining US competitiveness and national security — advanced manufacturing, defense, energy, health and medicine, information technology, and communications;
  • Develop federal programs that encourage greater collaboration between US industry, academia, and government labs to better support the research and development of next-generation photonics technologies;

  • Increase investment in education and job training programs to reduce the shortage of technically skilled workers needed to fill the growing number of photonics-based positions;
  • Expand federal investments supporting university and industry collaborative research to develop new manufacturing methods that incorporate photonics such as additive manufacturing and ultrashort-pulse laser material processing; and

  • Collaborate with US industry to review international trade practices impeding free and fair trade and the current US criteria restricting the sale of certain photonic technologies overseas.


Download the full NPI white paper "Lighting the Path to a Competitive, Secure Future."