27 March 2020

OSA Statement on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act

With the impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) disrupting important scientific research that could lead to new discoveries and technologies to combat the pandemic, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act approved by the U.S. Congress and signed into law provides critical resources to the optics and photonics community.

Across the globe, researchers are racing to develop vaccines and therapeutics to contain the spread of the virus. This infusion of U.S. government funds to science agencies and research institutions will accelerate studies and testing capabilities, increasing our knowledge of the disease and improving treatment options.

In the optics and photonics field, technology combining optics and magnetic particles has been found to rapidly test saliva samples of patients potentially infected with Coronavirus and imaging technology is being utilized to develop Coronavirus testing kits.

The massive package provides substantial funding for research and the development of Coronavirus vaccines and diagnostics at the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, Department of Defense and other U.S. agencies.

In addition, the collection of defaulted U.S. government student loans will be halted until further notice and scientists and students who rely on U.S. government funding for administrative expenses to sustain laboratory research or small businesses will be eligible for loans and grants as part of this measure.

We applaud the U.S. Congress for taking action to bolster efforts across scientific disciplines to eliminate this unprecedented health crisis.

About The Optical Society

Founded in 1916, The Optical Society (OSA) is the leading professional organization for scientists, engineers, students and business leaders who fuel discoveries, shape real-life applications and accelerate achievements in the science of light. Through world-renowned publications, meetings and membership initiatives, OSA provides quality research, inspired interactions and dedicated resources for its extensive global network of optics and photonics experts. For more information, visit osa.org.

Media Contact