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Tim Kopper

NSF Seeks Innovative Optics and Photonics Proposals

WASHINGTON – JULY 22, 2014 – The National Photonics Initiative (NPI), an alliance of top scientific societies uniting industry and academia to raise awareness of photonics, is greatly encouraged by the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) recent identification of optics and photonics research and education as a key area of interest. Charged with keeping the US at the leading edge of discovery across a broad scope of scientific areas, the NSF is calling for innovative research proposals on optics and photonics that are relevant to one or more Divisions in the Directorates for Engineering (ENG), Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS), or Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE).

"We are thrilled about this recent development,” said NPI Steering Committee Chairman Tom Baer. "This is yet another strong signal that the federal government is gaining a deeper appreciation and understanding of the critical role photonics plays in strengthening US competitiveness and national security.”

The NSF’s announcement comes on the heels of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Request for Information (RFI), which included photonics as one of its priority technical areas of interest for a possible new Institute for Manufacturing Innovation. The NPI helped mobilize the photonics community to
collaborate and provide a variety of thoughtful responses to the RFI. DoD is expected to issue a Broad Agency Announcement this fall requesting proposals for a new institute under the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation.
About the NPI: The National Photonics Initiative (NPI) is a collaborative alliance among industry, academia and government to raise awareness of photonics and the impact of photonics on our everyday lives; increase cooperation and coordination among US industry, government and academia to advance photonics-driven fields; and drive US funding and investment in areas of photonics critical to maintaining US economic competitiveness and national security. The initiative is being led by top scientific societies including the American Physical Society (APS), the IEEE Photonics Society, the Laser Institute of America (LIA), The Optical Society (OSA) and SPIE, the International Society for Optics and Photonics. For more information visit www.lightourfuture.org.
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