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Jo Maney

National Photonics Initiative Commends Passage of Omnibus Spending Bill

Consolidated Spending Bill Includes Significant Funding Increases for Key Research and Development Accounts

(Washington, D.C.) - The National Photonics Initiative (NPI) today praised passage of H.R. 1625, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, an omnibus spending bill that increases federal funding for research and development in several key agencies and departments, and urged President Trump to sign it into law.

Edward White, Chair of the National Photonics Initiative Steering Committee, and Vice President Test, Assembly and Packaging for AIM Photonics, said the funding increases are essential for continued innovation in the photonics space.

“The increased support for federal research projects in the omnibus spending bill is welcome news for the scientific research community,” said White. He added, “Optics and photonics – the science and application of light – has broad applications that can be utilized throughout the government in areas including manufacturing, medicine, and national security. The members of NPI will continue advocating for meaningful federal investments in photonics research as a way to expand innovation, competitiveness and economic and opportunity, particularly in the areas of energy and defense.”

H.R. 1625 includes a 3.9 percent funding increase for the National Science Foundation, an 8.7 percent increase for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, an 8.7 percent increase for the National Institute of Health and an 8.7 percent increase for the Department of Defense Science and Technology account. Particularly significant increases were included for the Office of Science (16.1 percent) and Advanced Research Project Agency (15.5 percent) within the Department of Energy.

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