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The Optical Society
OSA Member Amy Eskilson Calls for Support of Manufacturing Legislation at Capitol Hill Briefing
WASHINGTON, April 29, 2014—OSA Member Amy Eskilson, president and CEO of Inrad Optics, was on Capitol Hill today to participate in a congressional briefing in support of the proposed Revitalize American Manufacturing Initiative (RAMI) Act. Eskilson, who is a member of the OSA Public Policy Committee, was one of three panelists who stressed the importance of bridging the gap between innovation at U.S. universities and national laboratories and the commercialization of technology by U.S. companies.
At the briefing, Eskilson spoke of the importance of small business competitiveness. “The RAMI Act will help small companies, like Inrad Optics, partner with larger ones to enable products that are developed in the U.S. to also be produced here,” she said. “This will allow U.S.-based manufacturers to remain competitive and protect American jobs. On a global scale, we know there is a clear link between manufacturing innovation and economic prosperity.”
“As the CEO of an emerging business in the photonics industry, Amy’s efforts have added valuable insight to the debate over how to best support U.S. industry,” said OSA CEO Elizabeth Rogan. “We urge Congress to pass this progressive, bipartisan legislation to maintain the United States’ economic strength.”
The RAMI Act would create up to 15 Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation (IMIs). IMIs would unite public and private partners with the goal of fostering manufacturing innovation the U.S. and speeding up product commercialization. The optics and photonics industry stands to benefit from the RAMI Act because its advances can be leveraged across a wide range of disciplines and applications.
The briefing was coordinated by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF). Other panelists included: David Hemker, chief technology officer at Lam Research and Steven Betza, corporate director of hardware engineering at Lockheed Martin. Members of Congress in attendance were U.S. Representatives Joe Kennedy (D-MA) and Tom Reed (R-NY).
OSA members recently advocated for the RAMI Act as part of Congressional Visits Day through the National Photonics Initiative
(NPI). The NPI is a collaborative alliance among industry, academia and government seeking to raise awareness of photonics and the impact of photonics on our everyday lives; increase cooperation and coordination among U.S. industry, government and academia to advance photonics-driven fields; and drive U.S. funding and investment in areas of photonics critical to maintaining U.S. economic competitiveness and national security. The initiative is being led by a coalition of scientific societies, including the American Physical Society (APS), the IEEE Photonics Society, the Laser Institute of America (LIA), OSA and SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.
Additional information on OSA’s public policy programs can be found on the OSA website
EDITOR’S NOTE: A high-resolution photo of Eskilson is available upon request. Contact Lyndsay Meyer, email@example.com
Founded in 1916, The Optical Society (OSA) is the leading professional society for scientists, engineers, students and business leaders who fuel discoveries, shape real-world applications and accelerate achievements in the science of light. Through world-renowned publications, meetings and membership programs, OSA provides quality research, inspired interactions and dedicated resources for its extensive global network of professionals in optics and photonics. For more information, visit www.osa.org