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The Optical Society
OSA Applauds President Obama's Focus on Manufacturing, Education and Innovation in State of the Union Address
WASHINGTON, Feb. 13, 2013 – The Optical Society (OSA
) today commended U.S. President Barack Obama for his commitment to science education, funding for research and development (R&D), manufacturing innovation, and energy technologies in yesterday’s State of the Union address. OSA CEO Elizabeth Rogan released the following statement:
“In his State of the Union address, the president has challenged us to equip students with better technical skills by the time they leave the classroom. By focusing on the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills students need to fill the high-tech jobs of the future, we create a new generation of scientists and engineers poised to keep pace with the growing science and technology programs around the world.
The president also emphasized the importance of manufacturing innovation, which aligns with many of the goals presented in the National Photonics Initiative, recommended by the National Academy of Sciences’ Harnessing Light Committee in their landmark report, Optics & Photonics: Essential Technologies for Our Nation
. Continued innovation like this is only possible with sustainable funding for scientific research. The president’s plan to reach a level of investment in R&D that hails to the time of Sputnik holds great promise for scientists in the field of optics and photonics.
The president declared that no area of R&D holds more promise than investments in energy, and the optics and photonics industry plays a critical role in developing and improving the technology and efficiency of renewable energy, solar energy, and green technologies. Optical scientists and engineers have improved the efficiency of solar panels, made LED lighting more cost-effective, and developed computer components and 3-D imaging models that aid in manufacturing.
Investing in science and innovation grows the U.S. national economy and attracts highly-skilled entrepreneurs and engineers that will help create jobs. It is encouraging to hear the president call for sustained federal investments in R&D and OSA looks forward to working with Congress and the administration on these issues in the 113th Congress.”
Uniting more than 180,000 professionals from 175 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