12 February 2020

The Optical Society Expresses Disappointment in Funding Cuts to Science in U.S. President Trump’s FY2021 Budget Request

The Optical Society (OSA) is disappointed that President Trump’s FY2021 budget fails to provide sufficient funding to U.S. science agencies to accelerate the pace of basic and applied research.

The substantial funding cuts will put innovative research and the development of new technologies and industries at risk. The budget proposal includes significant cuts to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science compared to FY2020 funding levels.

“The U.S. President’s FY2021 budget sends a strong signal that the administration’s commitment to broadly advance research to address global challenges is lacking,” said Stephen Fantone, 2020 OSA President and president and founder of Optikos. “It is important for U.S. officials to recognize the necessity of greater federal investments in research  to support groundbreaking discoveries and the development of new technologies, which support economic growth and innovative solutions.”

On the positive side, The Optical Society is appreciative that the budget includes an increase of more than 50 percent for quantum information science compared to FY2020 spending with funding expected to double by FY2022.

The increase is well above funding levels outlined in the 2018 National Quantum Initiative Act which provides $1.2 billion (USD) over five years for DOE, NIST and the National Science Foundation to advance quantum information science and education.

The global optics and photonics community will play a critical role in driving quantum research and technologies forward.

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.

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