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Emily Pappas

National Photonics Initiative (NPI) Applauds Finalists for Integrated Photonics Institute for Manufacturing Innovation (IP-IMI)

WASHINGTON – January 30, 2015 – The National Photonics Initiative (NPI), a collaborative alliance seeking to raise awareness of photonics and increase US funding and investment in key photonics-driven fields, today commended the three consortiums led by University of Central Florida, University of Southern California and the Research Foundation for the State University of New York selected by the US Department of Defense (DOD) to submit full proposals to secure the Integrated Photonics Institute for Manufacturing Innovation (IP-IMI). Finalists were selected from respondents to a November 2014 Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to support the establishment of an IP-IMI that will advance the state-of-the-art in the design, manufacture, testing, assembly, and packaging of complex photonic integrated circuits that combine a variety of photonic and electronic components to achieve functionality. The NPI is not endorsing a specific IP-IMI proposal but is strongly committed to supporting the DOD’s ultimate selection.

In response to the DOD’s announcement, NPI Steering Committee Chairman Tom Baer issued the following statement:

“The three finalists are excellent choices for the new Integrated Photonics Institute for Manufacturing Innovation, and I applaud the Department of Defense for its fair and thorough selection process. The announcement today recognizes the critical role that photonics plays in US competitiveness and national security, and demonstrates the administration’s commitment to maintaining the US as the world leader for transitioning photonics research to commercial markets. On behalf of the NPI, I am pleased to pledge our full support to DOD and its ultimate selection for the long-term success of the IP-IMI and look forward to working with the winner to encourage further photonics collaboration between industry, academia and government.”

Optics and photonics are the science and application of light. Specifically, photonics generates, controls and detects light to advance robotics, manufacturing, medical imaging, next-generation displays, defense technologies, biometric security, image processing, communications, astronomy and much more. Integrated photonics circuits incorporate multiple miniature optical structures to manipulate and control beams of light, in the same way that integrated electronic circuits control electrons, in order to encode, transmit and decode information. A major goal for the IP-IMI will be to develop low-cost, high volume, manufacturing methods to interface electronic integrated circuits with integrated photonic devices.

Pursuant to DOD’s Funding Opportunity Announcement, the finalists announced today are now invited to submit full proposals due no later than 3:00PM ET on March 31, 2015. 
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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