NATIONAL PHOTONICS INITIATIVE STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF SCIENCE AMENDMENTS TO NDAA
WASHINGTON, DC – July 14, 2017 – The leadership of 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 support of two amendments – one amendment introduced by Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) and another amendment by Reps. Dave Loebsack (D-IA) and Walter Jones (R-NC) – included in the House-passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on Friday:
“The National Photonics Initiative (NPI) supports House passage of the NDAA that included two powerful amendments directing the federal government to increase collaboration and coordination between industry and academia to pursue innovative technology, research and development, and encourage greater education and workforce training for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, as well as Maintenance and Manufacturing (STEM(MM)) jobs. We thank Reps. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Dave Loebsack (D-IA) and Walter Jones (R-NC) for offering these amendments, and for their bi-partisan support of efforts to enhance our national security through investments in R&D and a well-trained workforce.
Optics and photonics – the science and application of light – play a key role in maintaining America’s economic competitiveness and preserving our national security. Concerted efforts by United States industry, academia and the federal government are needed to work in partnership to invest in critical optics and photonics research and technologies that would enhance innovation in private and public sector laboratories to address our nation’s defense needs. Concerted investment is especially needed to bridge the existing gap between basic research and the development of technologies. While maintaining US technological leadership can be accomplished in the near-term through public and private investment in infrastructure and research, the greatest challenge is our nation’s ability to sustain a well-trained workforce into future generations. We look forward to working with a bi-partisan team in Congress to achieve the full-potential of these meaningful amendments.”
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.