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NPI Joins Letter Urging Support for U.S. Scientific Enterprise in Wake of COVID-19 Outbreak

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 5, 2020)– The National Photonics Initiative (NPI), a broad-based collaborative alliance among industry, academia, and government that raises awareness of optics, photonics and quantum science and technology, has joined 17 other coalitions on a letter urging Congress to include the investments necessary to ensure the future health of the U.S. research enterprise in any additional COVID-19 response legislation. As a signatory to the letter, NPI proudly joins other business, science, technology, and academic coalitions in seeking comprehensive research funding.

The letter states in part, “America’s scientific research enterprise – both public and private – is the most robust in the world and a national asset for economic growth and national security. However, at a time when Congress, the Administration, and state and local leaders are relying on this national asset to find solutions to end this crisis, our nation’s research enterprise is in peril.”

The letter explains that COVID-19 crisis has severely impacted every part of America’s scientific enterprise, both public and private. As a result, efforts to retain and train the U.S. STEM workforce have been stymied. Additionally, non-COVID-19 related research activity has come to a halt, including research projects of national importance.

Ed White, Chair of the NPI Steering Committee and Vice President Test, Assembly and Packaging for AIM Photonics, said, “The NPI strongly encourages Congress to take decisive action to address the short and long-term effects of the nationwide shuttering of labs.”

Specifically, The Task Force on American Innovation proposes:

•    Significantly increasing scientific research funding across federal science agencies,
•    Maintaining and growing our STEM workforce, and
•    Investing in essential infrastructure.

For more information on the letter, click HERE.

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