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Proceedings Paper

New directions at NSF
Author(s): Albert B. Harvey
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Paper Abstract

The mission and scope of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and lightwave technology will be very briefly discussed. The focus of the presentation will be directed toward changes in research support that are taking place and the opportunities we have for aiming our research to meet the challenges and needs that face the nation. In the USA it is very clear that defense oriented research is downsizing and is being redirected into economy driven aresas, such as manufacturing, business, and industry. For those researchers who are willing to move into these areas and find a niche, the rewards may be very great. Industrial research partners should also seize these opportunities to enhance their resources in an otherwise bleak future for industrial support of basic research in lightwave technology and many other reserach disciplines. These activities of bringing together industry and academia will have the value added benefit of providing increased job opportunities for students. An outline of some of these opportunities and incentives will be presented. On the international front, there has never been a better time for the encouragement of joint research and collaboration across borders. The economic potential for involvement in Eastern Europe and Asia are enormous. Agencies like ourselves are open to help support of visiting scientist/engineer exchange, international conferences and forums and support of innovative ideas to help further enhance economic developemnt of the world and hence the quality of life. The presence of the Russian delegation here at these SPIE meetings in in part the result of NSF support. Concomitant with these changes is a growing interest in education. Academia is gradually realizing that education includes training for students to acquire jobs and hence we complete the cycle of the importance of interacting with industry. At the NSF a major new initiative is being introduced in Optical Science and Engineering (OSE). This effort has been created as an outgrowth of the NRC study being conducted in parallel under the same name. OSE is based on the fact that optics is a very interdisciplinary area and special emphasis on the interface between the relevant areas is where the action is. Lightwave technology and the implementation of organic materials to optoelectronic applications is clearly an area which has tremendous potential for economic impact and it fits the criteria for the OSE initiative. It is also exciting, challenging, and personally rewarding. But organic materials have been promising for quite some time and some are getting impatient. To provide credibility to those who support this research (governement, idustry, etc.), we must turn our attention to ways in which we can accelerate the transition from the laboratory discovery to the consumer. In this way everyone will become a winner.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 October 1995
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 2527, Nonlinear Optical Properties of Organic Materials VIII, (5 October 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.222808
Show Author Affiliations
Albert B. Harvey, National Science Foundation (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2527:
Nonlinear Optical Properties of Organic Materials VIII
Gustaaf R. Moehlmann, Editor(s)

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