OSA Joins Groups in Bringing Together Government, Industry and Academia to Strengthen Photonics Comm


Lyndsay Meyer
The Optical Society

OSA Joins Groups in Bringing Together Government, Industry and Academia to Strengthen Photonics Community

Panel members
Panel members (left to right): Ed White, Kodak (retired); Paul McManamon, Exciting Technology, LLC; Alan Willner, University of Southern California. At podium: Tom Baer, Stanford Photonics Research Center, NPI Advisory Committee chair.
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Joe Berthold
Joe Berthold, vice president of network architecture, Ciena, discusses “Optical Communications: The Continuing Need – Low Cost at Great Scale.”
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2013– The Optical Society (OSA) joined several leaders in the optics and photonics community today in Washington at “Optics and Photonics: Lighting a Path for the Future,” a day-long event showcasing how optics and photonics can solve problems, enable innovation, facilitate economic growth and improve lives. The event, hosted by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), will highlight the recently released NAS report: Optics and Photonics: Essential Technologies for our Nation, which discusses the current state of optical sciences and opportunities for future growth.
The study, which follows a similar report published in 1998 known as Harnessing Light, identifies the technological and economic opportunities the science of optics and photonics has enabled, assesses market trends, gives examples of where progress in photonics innovation has translated into economic benefits, and makes recommendations for future research and policies that advance the field of optics and photonics.
One of the key recommendations of the report is the formation of a National Photonics Initiative (NPI) that brings together public and private partners focused on photonics R&D funding, analyzes economic impacts and activities of the industry, and supports collaboration across scientific fields of study in which optics and photonics play a key role. An advisory committee of representatives from the American Physical Society, IEEE Photonics Society, Laser Institute of America, Optoelectronics Industry Development Association, OSA, and SPIE has been created to work toward establishing the NPI and implement its goals. 
“The NPI will provide an opportunity to create the infrastructure for ongoing industry road mapping, economic impact analysis, and improved interface between industry, academia, and government funding agencies,” said OSA Past President Thomas Baer of Stanford Photonics Research Center and chair of the NPI advisory committee. “We believe an NPI is essential to advancing the field of optics and look forward to continued discussion and collaboration with our industry partners as we work toward the creation of this important initiative.”
Attendees at today’s event heard from leaders in the energy, communications, advanced manufacturing, biomedical and defense fields, who discussed future industry needs in their respective areas, along with perspective on investments that would support innovation and job creation. Participants included:

  • Doug Hall, portfolio manager, SunShot Initiative, Photovoltaic Manufacturing Initiative, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Jeannine Sargent, president, Flextronics
  • Steve Grubb,  director of optical systems, Infinera
  • Joe Berthold, vice president of network architecture, Ciena
  • Mark Taggart, president, Laser Mechanisms Inc.
  • Magdi Azer , business development manager, GE Laser Research Center
  • Steve Laderman, director, Molecular Tools Laboratory, Agilent Technologies
  • James Mulshine, associate provost for research and vice president director, Rush Translational Sciences Consortium
  • James Horkovich, engineering fellow, Raytheon

For more information about the NAS report, including OSA’s Executive Summary of its findings, visit www.osa.org/HarnessingLight.

About OSA

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