FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Optical Society Applauds Passage of America COMPETES Act Reauthorization
WASHINGTON, Dec. 22 —The Optical Society (OSA) applauds the U.S. Congress for passing the America COMPETES Act Reauthorization of 2010 (H.R. 5116). The bill makes significant investment in R&D funding and science, technology, engineering, and math education. COMPETES keeps the budgets of the National Science Foundation (NSF), the DOE Office of Science, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) on a path toward doubling over 2007 levels and maintains funding for the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E) at approximately $300 million a year
Elizabeth Rogan, OSA CEO, issued the following statement commending Congress for yesterday’s vote:
“The Optical Society commends the U.S. Congress for passing the America COMPETES Act Reauthorization of 2010. COMPETES authorizes essential funding for research agencies such as NSF, DOE Office of Science and NIST, and will ensure that America is able to make strategic investments in science that will result in many society-wide benefits for years to come. The first COMPETES Act, passed in 2007, has been instrumental in maintaining and strengthening the U.S. global economic competitiveness by improving STEM education and supporting basic research.
The COMPETES Act highlights the importance of maintaining funding for scientific research and development for the long term. Many technologies that touch everyday life have been a direct result of years of federally funded research. For us at OSA, a perfect example is the laser. 50 years ago, the laser was first demonstrated as a result of federally-funded research. At the time, it had few known applications.
Today the laser is virtually everywhere--from DVD players and fiber optics that provide high-speed Internet, to precision manufacturing tools and cutting-edge medical imaging technology--and that’s all thanks to an investment in science like the one made through the COMPETES Act.
Thank you to Congress for recognizing the importance of federal investments in scientific R&D. We look forward to President Obama signing this important legislation into law.”
Uniting more than 106,000 professionals from 134 countries, the Optical Society (OSA) brings together the global optics community through its programs and initiatives. Since 1916 OSA has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing educational resources to the scientists, engineers and business leaders who work in the field by promoting the science of light and the advanced technologies made possible by optics and photonics. OSA publications, events, technical groups and programs foster optics knowledge and scientific collaboration among all those with an interest in optics and photonics. For more information, visit www.osa.org.