National Photonics Initiative Opposes Sweeping Cuts to Science R&D in the President’s Budget Proposal
NPI vows to work with Congress to fund policies and programs important to optics and photonics
WASHINGTON, DC – May 23, 2017 – The National Photonics Initiative (NPI), an alliance of top scientific societies uniting industry and academia to raise awareness of photonics, released the following statement today in response to the release of President Trump’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget proposal:
"The NPI is deeply concerned by drastic funding cuts to many science research and development (R&D) agencies and programs included in President Trump’s FY 2018 budget request. Stable investments in science R&D programs are critical for the advancement of our society, economy, national security and the future of our nation. Sweeping funding cuts to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science, National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), among other agencies, will hinder our nation’s ability to drive the next-generation of American innovation and competitiveness.”
“Optics and photonics – the science and application of light – benefit greatly from federal R&D investments and, in turn, contribute to innovations that reach beyond scientific discovery. While our community opposes funding reductions to critical science R&D agencies and programs included in the President’s budget request, the NPI is supportive of a proposed $1 trillion public-private infrastructure investment. Advances in optical imaging techniques are quickly becoming essential in addressing the challenges of aging and new civil infrastructure and, as a public-private consortium, the NPI welcomes efforts by the administration to foster a closer working relationship among all segments of the R&D communities to transition game-changing technologies from laboratories to the commercial sectors. The NPI looks forward to engaging with the administration to discuss these areas of cooperation in greater detail, and working with bipartisan congressional leaders to build support for continued funding for policies and programs important to optics and photonics."
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.