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What Is The NPI?

In 1998, the National Research Council released a report, "Harnessing Light: Optical Science and Engineering for the 21st Century," that presented a comprehensive view of the potential impact of optics and photonics on important industries. In response, several economies – including Germany, China, and the European Union – advanced their already strong optics and photonics sectors. The United States, however, did not develop a cohesive strategy, leaving us at risk of falling sharply behind.

In 2012, the National Research Council released a follow-up report to Harnessing Light - titled "Optics and Photonics: Essential Technologies for our Nation" - that called for an umbrella organization to identify and advance areas of photonics critical to maintaining competitiveness and national security. Heeding the call five organizations – Optica (formerly OSA), Advancing Optics and Photonics Worldwide; SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics; the IEEE Photonics Society (IPS); the Laser Institute of America (LIA); and the American Physical Society (APS) Division of Laser Science – worked together to form a National Photonics Initiative (NPI).

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